The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is intensifying its resolve to decentralize the operation of health insurance in the country. This is In furtherance of its mandate to deepen the penetration of health insurance in the country, as well and take the prospects of universal health coverage forward for Nigeria
The scheme has also initiated a series of advocacy visits to state governors across the country to secure their understanding and cooperation regarding their roles in the new order.
This was contained in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday in Abuja by the Head, Media & PR Division of NHIS, Ayo Osinlu.
It said the first port of call in this nationwide advocacy was the government house in Kaduna, where a high powered team of the Scheme met the leadership of the state recently.
Speaking at the occasion, the Ag. Executive Secretary of the Scheme, Mr Olufemi Akingbade stated that NHIS was inspired to make Kaduna its first target, in view of the pragmatic nature of the governor of the state, Mallam Nasir El Rufai, and the legacy of his impressive efforts to promote health insurance for the people of the Federal Capital Territory during his tenure as minister of the territory.
Akingbade, who was received on behalf of the governor ‘s deputy, Arch. Barnabas Bala Bantex, stated that as part of the strategies to scale up coverage of Nigerians within the shortest time frame, the Scheme has developed the State Supported Social Health Insurance Programme (SSHIP), targeted at increasing health access for every citizen of Nigeria.
He further noted that the SSHIP will give the state the necessary autonomy to set up their own health insurance agency that will provide access to health care through pooling of financial resources.
According to the statement, the Ag. Executive Secretary said the Scheme has developed a blueprint that each state can adapt to its peculiarities and a legal framework for the operation of the programme, whereby every participant will know their role leading to a seamless operation of the programme.
The NHIS boss further emphasized that every participating state will have a sizable bulk of its contributions into the programme channeled back into the state healthcare system.