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NHIS says only 3% of Nigerians are on health insurance scheme

Bukola Afeni

The chairman board of the governing council of NHIS ,Dr Enyantu Ifenne said that Nigeria still a long way from  achieving Universal health coverage ,as only 3% of Nigerians are on the health insurance scheme .She said the NHIS will expand coverage by 10% every year ,and take realistic steps to reach out to the core Nigerians in the zones in various communities in the country .
Dr Ifenne made the disclosure at a press briefing with journalist in Abuja .
According to her,the National health insurance scheme will provide technical support to states ,by creating mutual social insurance to people in the non formal sector ,who have been neglected in times past .
“We are the giant of Africa,and we are ready to change the narrative in the health sector .We will engage in series of advocacy and sensitization that will encourage the youth,corpers ,the artisans and the small business owners to partake of the scheme”
The chairman of the governing council of NHIS also noted that the agency is committed to flipping the organogram by placing great emphasis on the users of the health scheme .She said they will no longer be called enrollees .
“We will be committed to placing the lives that is committed into our care with high value ,by setting them on top of the value chain .Our universal goal is saving lives and we will not relent in performing this function ”
She also disclosed the fact that some Health maintainance organisations have crippling debt with some health facilities ,and the scheme will ensure that there is standard regulation put in place to checkmate all the negative activities .
“We have asked them to submit letter of indebtedness ,six HMOS did not submit the letters ,which implies that they are indebted .We have withdrawn their accreditation
The management is setting up a regulatory guidelines for the HMOS”
“Untill the health maintainance organisations fulfill the law of accreditation ,and comply with the specific conditions ,they won’t be reacreditted ”
The executive secretary of NHIS ,Usman Yusuf hinted that the management is ready to work with the new governing board members to change the health sector in Nigeria .
“We haven’t be doing the right thing for a long time ,we are now more determined than ever before to develop the health sector .
We have a board that is proactive ,and ready to make universal health coverage accessible to all Nigerians ,especially those in the grassroot .We want to alleviate the suffering of our people ”
The executive secretary also refuted a recent allegation in a news publication that the agency or he as an individual ,is interested in some investment .
“The governing board have agreed to put on hold all investment for now ,and when we are ready ,it will be done through a due process”he added .
A member of the governing board,who also runs a HMO,Mr Lekan Ewenla called on the NHIS to regulate the body appropriately so as to change the health insurance scheme positively .
“The HMOS are ready to change .If we are regulator regulates the health sector appropriately ,we will move forward .Any of our member that feels that they should not be regulated ,will be taken out of the system “

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