NHIS provides technical, implementation guidance for states

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The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), is to work with state governments to improve access of Nigerians to healthcare as well as ensuring everyone irrespective of their economic status accessed quality healthcare.

Mr Ayo Osinlu, Head Communication NHIS, said this at the Opening Ceremony of a Workshop on shaping the Future of Health Insurance in Nigeria, on Monday, in Kano State.

He said the event was in partnership with U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) and Department for International Development (DFID).

Osinlu explained that the workshop  was organised to collectively forge a way forward and device methods of fast tracking State Health Insurance Schemes (SHIP) implementation towards expanding health insurance coverage in Nigeria.

Osinlu highlighted some of the workshop objectives as, to review progress of implementation of SHIP by states as well as providing technical guidance towards providing legal, operational and implementation design.

“To examine impediments, challenges, opportunities, and lesson learned.

“To foster, peer learning and experiences sharing among states on SHIS design, implementation, and problem-solving strategies,’’ he said.

Osinlu, however, said the programmes were in line with the agenda of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari.

He added that it was also in line with the global agenda of achieving universal health coverage for all by the year 2030.

On Sept. 10, the Federal Government began the disbursement of the first phase of Basic Health Care Provision Funds to the State Health Insurance Agencies estimated at N15 billion.

The disbursement was done by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunimbe Mamora and Executive Director of National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Mohammed Sambo.

Documents obtained by journalists during the event held in Abuja indicated that 15 states and the Federal Capital Territory would be beneficiaries of the first tranche of the money.

Out of the amount, a total of N6.5 billion would be disbursed to the 15 states and FCT.

The recipients are Edo, FCT, Katsina, Yobe, Delta, Lagos, Adamawa, Kano, Anambra, Imo, Kaduna, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Oyo and Plateau States.

While Kano State had the highest amount of N948.4 million, the FCT got N118 million.

The benefitting states were Edo (N301 million), Kastina (N636 million), Yobe (N270 million), Delta (N394 million), Lagos (N672 million), Adamawa (N342 million), Kano (N948 million), Anambra (N338), Imo (N301 million), Kaduna (N552 million), Bauchi (N530 million), Bayelsa (N116 million), Ebonyi (N230 million), Oyo N449 million), Plateau  (N337 million) and FCT (N118 million).

Under the arrangement, the BHCPF would be administered through three gateways, namely the NHIS, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and the Federal Ministry of Health.

Ehanire described the event as a historic moment in the quest by the government to improve the quality of life of Nigerians, especially in the area of health which is interlinked with socio-economic development.

According to him, the first of the money was disbursed to 15 states and the FCT which had satisfied the eligibility criteria as of February 2019.

Ime Njoku