Registrants and experts call for full implementation of health insurance law
Some experts and registrants have called for a framework that would ensure the newly signed National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Act is fully implemented by the federal government.
They made the call in separate talks on Saturday in Lagos while reacting to the new National Health Insurance Authority Act 2022.
A medical imaging scientist, Livinus Abonyi, praised Mr Buhari for signing the bill into law, adding that health insurance was a desirable “way forward”.
Mr Abonyi, a senior lecturer in the Department of Medical Radiography, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Lagos, said it was used in many countries to ensure that a greater percentage of their population has access to health services.
He called for a review of the operations of healthcare providers and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) to ensure the improvement of their services.
HMO staff member Godwin Ekanem said the new health insurance law was a “welcome development”.
Mr. Ekanem said that with the new health insurance arrangements, vulnerable people, including those in rural communities, would now have access to health services.
He further said that there is a need to enforce the law, saying that proper implementation would go a long way in reducing the death rate while improving the health of citizens.
NHIS enrollee Moses Omorogeva said National Health Insurance remained one of the government initiatives that had a significant impact on his life.
Mr Omorogiev said the program has helped him and his family access many health services.
However, he called for the improvement of the quality of services and health care provided under the program.
On May 19, President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the National Health Insurance Authority Act 2022, thereby repealing the National Health Insurance Scheme Act, Cap N42, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
Mr Buhari had said that a fund for vulnerable groups would be established to provide coverage for 83 million poor Nigerians who could not afford the premiums recommended by the Lancet Nigeria Commission.
He said the authority would work with the state government health insurance schemes to accredit primary and secondary health facilities and enroll Nigerians in the scheme to ensure the provision of quality health care.