With the signing of the health insurance bill into law, National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has said Nigeria achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030 is feasible.
Addressing a stakeholders’ forum yesterday, in Lagos, Deputy General Manager, NHIA, Ikeja office, Dr. Bethuel-Kasimu Abraham, said the Authority was working assiduously to get Nigerians covered under the health insurance net.
He noted that the Act, which made health insurance mandatory, also gave states the platform to set up health insurance schemes. Abraham, who took the participants through the NHIA benefit package, said the states were also making moves to ensure the country achieves the 2030 target.
He hinted that the new guideline, to be released soon, empowered NHIA to investigate cases and sanction errant providers. His words: “For Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) that have consistent trends of either owing providers or not operating within ambit of the guidelines, we will delist. A lot of HMOs are biting more than they can chew. HMOs that place a burden and don’t render quality services to enrollees will be derisked. HMOs now have to report poor services to the NHIA. Enrollees should report any HMO that is not acting in line with what they know should be. We will do more of educating the HMOs on quality service delivery.”
Similarly, Zonal Co-ordinator, NHIA, Lagos, Olufemi Akingbade, said to achieve the 2030 goal, there is need for government to enforce the willpower to build the requisite level of trust between federal and state authorities.
He advised that the most effective way for national health insurance is for Nigeria to have a single pool of funds.
“For now, we have a fragmented pool of funds. Each state is supposed to take care of their residents and citizens, so the pools are fragmented,” Akingbade observed.
Taking the participants on expanding coverage of the NHIA, Assistant General Manager, Programme Unit, Ikeja, Chika Amahalu, explained that the forum was to bridge the gap between the Authority and stakeholders for better health services to the citizenry.
On the Group, Individual and Family Social Health Insurance Programme (GIFSHIP), she stressed the need for health insurance coverage for every Nigerian to guarantee access to quality and affordable healthcare.