By Cecilia Ologunagba
Abuja – Prof. Mohammed Sambo, the Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) says the scheme has
shared the concept of “Health Insurance Under One Roof” with the leadership of the State Social Health Insurance Agencies (SSHIAs).
Sambo said this in a statement issued by Mr Ayo Osinlu, the Head, Media and Public Relations of NHIS on Wednesday in Abuja.
He added that the concept was presented to Chief Executives of SSHIAs, management of the scheme and a cross section of the
development community at a meeting held recently.
Sambo emphasised that the greatest impediment to speedy attainment of Universal Health Coverage in the country remained fragmentation
of resources, policies, efforts and strategies.
“This will not only result in loss of time and energy, but in total contradiction of the most significant principle of health insurance which is pooling.’’
He stressed the need to develop appropriate and enabling setting, which he described as the matrix of coverage, which would be a systematic arrangement that facilitates the achievement of set objectives.
In this case, the healthcare financing expert recommended clear definition of scope of health insurance in Nigeria, and the determination of
who covers each of the segments between NHIS and the state agencies.
Sambo cited the example of NHIS remaining responsible for the formal sector, while the State Health Insurance agencies would be in charge of
the informal sector population at the grassroots.
He explained that in the proposed arrangement, the development and deployment of ICT solutions, as well as Information, Education and Communication
activities would have overarching and cross-cutting status.
In addition, he said, the proposed arrangement would provide overall support services for the operational and management processes of health insurance in Nigeria.
To facilitate the finalisation of the details of this concept and receive inputs for strengthening it, the NHIS boss announced that a retreat would be held in the second
week of February.
“This will help to generate a framework for developing a set of conditions to produce a system for effective operation and administration of Health Insurance Under One Roof.
Representative of the Forum of CEOs of SSHIAs, led by the Chairman, Dr Adeniyi Oginni, applauded the NHIS boss “for providing focused leadership.”
Oginni said the group expressed full subscription to the concept as strategy that would ease the process and fast-track the attainment of UHC in Nigeria.
Also at the meeting were representatives of the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Bank and Health Policy Plus.