The National Health Insurance Authority, (NHIA) says the signing of the NHIA Act will strengthen efforts to tackle high incidence of poverty caused by out-of-pocket expenses for health care, through health insurance for all categories of Nigerians by 2030 is now more realisable than ever before.
This was contained in a press statement signed by the Head of Media at the agency, Emmanuel Ononokpono and made available to our correspondents.
While applauding President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the NHIA bill into law Onokpono who said the Management and Staff of the were thankful for the development, further noted that they were also indebted to the Senate and the House of Representatives especially the Committees on Health for their invaluable roles in the lead up to the enactment of the law.
“Also worthy of mention is the part played by the Minister of Health, his state counterpart as well as the Federal ministry of Health during the course of the legislative work on the law.
“For over two decades, industry professionals had sustained the call for amendment to the health insurance law, being a major impediment to the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
“By this development, efforts to tackle high incidence of poverty caused by out-of-pocket expenses for health care, through health insurance for all categories of Nigerians by 2030 is now more realisable than ever before.”
According to him, “It is worthy to note that the Act establishes and empowers the NHIA to ensure provision of health insurance for all Nigerians through a mandatory mechanism, in collaboration with state health insurance agencies.
“Specifically, Sections 25 and 26 of the Act establish the Vulnerable Group Fund (VGF), indicating the various sources from which funding would be drawn.”
He further posited that the legislation strengthens the NHIA to discharge a wide range of regulatory and promotion functions to ultimately ensure that every Nigerian receives access to quality and affordable health care.
Onokpono however clarified that the Act as assented to by President Buhari has no provision for a telecoms tax, as a source of funding as being reported in some media outlets.
“In any event, while the NHIA understands the excitement around the new law, it craves the patience of stakeholders and industry watchers including the media to wait for a formal unveiling of the document in days ahead.”