Post COVID-19: NHIS moves to achieve universal health coverage

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Prof. Mohammed Sambo

PROF. Mohammed Sambo, the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), says the scheme is working to expand its service to achieve the Universal Health Coverage (UCH).

Sambo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that, the scheme had rolled out so many interventions since the beginning of COVID-19.

According to him, we have been able to roll out so many interventions that we maintain our services with respect to COVID-19.

“We have put in a proposal to the Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for us in NHIS.

“Since we have business arrangement with the private sector to be able us to increase access to testing and treatment, utilising the private sector.

“For Post COVID-19, we want to make sure that we continue to reform the NHIS, which we have started in the last two months, for us to position for Universal Health Coverage, which is our core mandate.

“For Universal coverage, it means, more people will come into enrolment and more actors-health Maintenance Organisations, Health Care Providers will have a lot of work doing in achieving this,’’ he said.

According to him, NHIS has significant role in endemic as well as other health care service.

“In fact, if you look at the objective of National Health Scheme, among other things, it is to ensure quality health care delivery service.

“If you also look at modus operands of NHIS, almost every facility in Nigeria has business arrangement with NHIS.’’

Sambo said for the scheme to continue to perform very well under COVID-19 pandemic, all the issues within the health care deliver, had to remain constant.

“You must have sufficient equipment, highly motivated human power and you must make sure that everything goes on in the facility.

“COVID-19 will go but, it will leave people with devastating heath challenges without attention while COVID-19 and other services have to be maintained.

“Other services have to be maintained and all measures that are necessary to keep the health care workers in place to continue to provide the services within the mandate of NHIS,’’ he said.

Speaking on the insurance for health workers, he said the role of NHIS was to ensure that health workers were protected first from contacting the Coronavirus and that the scheme had been supporting some of them with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

“We have been supporting them with PPE to protect them from contacting the disease.

“All doctors have what is called indemnity insurance, (insurance they take for the purpose of their practice) since this is a pandemic that is unprecedented.

“It is good for the government to come up with clear insurance package for health workers in the event they have any problem, so that they can be protected.

“The insurance can come in any form; it will require a discussion with insurance agencies because NHIS is not an insurance agency.

“You will need insurance companies to sit down with health care actors to define insurance cover for any health worker that has contacted the virus,’’ he said. (NAN)

– Jun. 8, 2020 @ 15:39 GMT |

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