Health

State health insurance agencies target 50% coverage in 5 years

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Dr Niyi Oginni, the Chairman, Forum of CEOs, State Health Insurance Agencies in Nigeria,

says state governments are targeting to achieve 50 per cent enrollment into health insurance schemes in the next five years.

Oginni told Nigeria News Agency on Friday, on the sideline of the 3rd annual edition of Legislative Summit on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Abuja.

According to him, the eight states implementing the scheme have so far enrolled 1.1 million within a year, representing 0.61 per cent.

He said the agencies that started within a year in eight states had already started providing services to those who enrolled.

He added that “by the time the 36 states of the federation enroll all residents into states’ health insurance schemes, a great percentage of

health coverage would be achieved and within five years, we would be able to achieve 50 per cent coverage.”

The official said that the template for the enrollment would soon be domesticated in states.

Oginni, who earlier spoke on ”Health Insurance Decentralisation’’ during technical session on “Strategic Framework for UHC in Nigeria” at the legislative

summit, said that the journey to decentralise health insurance started in 2014.

He added that the National Assembly committees on health, development partners, civil society organisations and professional associations

in the health sector achieved the drafting of the National Health Act, passed into law and assented to in 2014.

He explained that “the key achievement in the reform is the establishment of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).

“BHCPF is to comprise not less than one per cent of Federal Government revenues in addition to donor contributions and funds from philanthropists.’’

According to him, BHCPF is an intervention fund, a panacea to fund the health financing deficit in Nigeria and the principal funding vehicle for the Basic

Minimum Package of Health Services (BMPHS)

“So far, the single most important social security that can support Nigeria’s aspiration to achieve UHC providing coverage for the vulnerable.

“The purpose of the fund is to increase the fiscal space and overall financing to the health sector to assist Nigeria achieve UHC.”

The chairman said that the National Council on Health adopted the memorandum on implementation of State-Supported Health Insurance

Scheme (SSHI) in March 2015.

He noted that key resolutions from the council included: “health insurance must be mandatory for all; SSHIS should create a budget line to

cover those who cannot afford to pay premiums under an equity fund.

“Also, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) will develop a model legal template to be partly or wholly adapted by states.

“State laws must align with NHIS Act and the National Health Act 2014 should facilitate collaboration and composition of SSHIS boards to

include stakeholders such as NHIS, civil society.”

Oginni, who is the Executive Secretary, Osun State Health Insurance Agency, however, made some recommendations to achieving efficiency in

the implementation of SSHIS in Nigeria.

The recommendations are that NHIS should be proactive in its responsibility of providing technical support and capacity building for SSHIS.

“There is an urgent need for NHIS to convene the ICT summit for UHC.

“There is urgent need for the National Secretariat of the BHCPF to review its implementation to allow seamless alignment with SSHIS and the original purpose. 

Edited by Shittu Obassa/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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