NHIS sensitises accredited providers, applauds Lagos Agency
QUALITY service delivery, easy access and affordable healthcare cost to the entire Nigerian populace, being the key policy thrust of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was re-emphasized recently at a sensitization forum held by the Lagos Zonal office of the Scheme for the over three hundred newly accredited facilities in Lagos.
Speaking at the sensitization forum, that witnessed a marathon presentations in three modules, the Lagos Zonal Coordinator, Prince Nasiru Ikharo noted that,” the trend in the global best practice was a healthcare financing approach that seek to eradicate all forms of out-of-pocket expenditure on healthcare,” as according to him, “often than not, a greater percentage of the population do not have a pocket to from.
Therefore, health insurance approach has become a veritable mechanism at achieving quality healthcare delivery where easy access and affordability is guaranteed. Submitting that, “with health insurance, universal health coverage (UHC) as a mandate is achievable”.
Ikharo highlighted the various programs designed in NHIS to ensuring that all Nigerian in all strata have health insurance cover. These included the Formal Sector programme that covered all Federal, States and Local government employees, The Military and other uniformed outfits, Pupils in public Primary Schools, Tertiary institutions, Organized Private Sector, etc.
Others are the Informal sector that has the community based health program as well as the Voluntary contributors programs. The equity pool for vulnerable groups covers the physically challenged, prison inmates, children under five years and all pregnant women as well as internally displaced persons.
In an effort to make sure that all Nigerian were enrolled, the Scheme launched new programs such as the National Mobile health Insurance program, and the state supported programmes.
Ikharo reiterated that with the increased drive in the new NHIS, coupled with the newly introduced programs such as mobile health and the State supported programs, the enrollee base of the Scheme was certainly going to exceed the 30 per cent Presidential Mandate which will as well mean more enrollee for the providers leading to increased income.
Ikharo called on the providers to avoid sharp practices and uphold the ethics of the profession making sure that the enrollees were treated as king, as the enrollees will definitely become the mouth-piece for the healthcare facilities on quality care.
The NHIS has also applauded the recent signing into law of the Lagos bill establishing Lagos Health Agency as a major step towards achieving the universal health coverage in the state and by extension the nation as a whole.
Ikharo during a chat with reporters in a forum in Lagos said that “the journey that has culminated into the setting up of the Lagos Health Agency dated back to 2005 when the Lagos State Government had approached the NHIS on the most practical way that the State Government can participate in the Health Insurance program”.
Ikharo stated further that” several meetings were held with the State Government overtime but when it was obvious that NHIS insisted that states participation required fund contribution from the states to the centre, the cooperation between the state and NHIS suffered a setback”.
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