NHIS develops 10-year strategic plan for universal health coverage

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National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), on Monday, commenced a two-day management retreat on its 10-year Strategic Plan.

The NHIS Executive Secretary, Professor Mohammad Sambo, told newsmen on the sidelines of the retreat in Kaduna that it was to educate the top management on the plan, which was developed to ensure sustainable Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the country.

He explained that the plan would bring all health insurance agencies and actors in Nigeria to have a common platform and direction towards realising the ultimate vision of the NHIS.

The NHIS boss noted that a lot is expected of the organisation to drive the process of attainment of universal health coverage in Nigeria.

Sambo said the plan has “covered various issues as to how people or the entire Nigerian will be covered and have a social safety net in health care.

“The ability to avert financial risk protection by having or ensuring pulling risks and resources that will cover the entire population with respect to health care delivery system.

“It also has avenues where innovation and creativity will be done in terms of mobilizing resources through an innovative financial mechanism to allow for the accumulation of resources for the attainment of universal health coverage.

“At the end of the day, every Nigerian should have access to qualitative and affordable health care.”

He disclosed that the plan has provisions for those in the informal and private sectors.

“Vulnerable rural dwellers, women, children, and people with disabilities will be covered within the context of the strategic plan.

“It is an all-encompassing document that will guide us in moving from one point to another on health insurance development in Nigeria.”

Sambo explained that under the plan, people will be able to use their handsets to register and select health care providers and call in to register their complaint.

According to him, the concept of health insurance is to enable people to pay little and get full health care services.

The executive secretary said the NHIS is working hard to see how information and education can reach all Nigerians to enable them to key into the program so that the prevailing health care challenges and mortality can be addressed.

In a separate interview, Dr Abubakar Kurfi, the Desk Officer for the strategic plan, said that the plan was part of the reform of redesigning and redefining health insurance delivery in Nigeria.

He explained that the document had itemized how the NHIS would provide comprehensive health insurance to the entire population of Nigeria through a well-organized and systematic way, based on global best practices.

“It contains all the blueprint, activities, initiatives, policies, and resources that are needed for Nigeria to actually provide health insurance to all.

“At the end of the day, the aim is to see that every Nigerian has health insurance and no one suffers hardship as a result of seeking health care.

“It is to ensure that every living Nigerian has access to quality health care without financial hardship by simply picking an NHIS ID card.”

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