Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Enrollees, experts seek full implementation of health insurance law

Some experts and enrollees have called for a framework that would guarantee full implementation of the newly signed National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) law.

• May 21, 2022

Some experts and enrollees have called for a framework that would guarantee full implementation of the newly signed National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) law by the federal government.

They made the call in separate interviews on Saturday in Lagos while reacting to the newly signed National Health Insurance Authority Act 2022.

A medical imaging scientist, Livinus Abonyi, lauded Mr Buhari for signing the bill into law, adding that health insurance was a desirable “way to go”.

Mr Abonyi, a lecturer at the Department of Medical Radiography, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, said it was used in many countries to ensure that a more significant percentage of their population accessed health services.

He called for a review of the operations of the healthcare providers and Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) to ensure improvement in their services.

A staff of an HMO, Godwin Ekanem, said the newly signed health insurance act was a “welcome development”.

Mr Ekanem said that with the new health insurance provisions, vulnerable persons, including those in the rural communities, would now have access to health services.

He further said there was the need for enforcement of the law, saying that adequate implementation will go a long way to reducing the mortality rate while improving citizens’ health.

An enrollee of NHIS, Moses Omorogieva, said national health insurance remained one of the government’s initiatives that had significantly impacted his life.

Mr Omorogieva said the programme helped him and his household access many healthcare services.

He, however, called for improvement in the quality of services and healthcare rendered under the programme.

President Muhammadu Buhari, on May 19, signed into law the National Health Insurance Authority Act 2022, repealing thereby, the National Health Insurance Scheme Act, Cap N42, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

Mr Buhari had said that a vulnerable group fund would be set up to ensure coverage of 83 million poor Nigerians who could not afford to pay premiums as recommended by the Lancet Nigeria Commission.

He said that the authority would collaborate with state government Health Insurance Schemes to accredit primary and secondary health facilities and enrol Nigerians into the scheme to ensure quality health care delivery.


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