The National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, is set to expand its coverage to the thirty-six States of the Federation to enable more Nigerians benefit from the scheme.
The NHIS was established under Act 36 of 1999 to provide universal access to healthcare for Nigerians. But more than 16 years after it was established, less than 10 percent of Nigerians have healthcare insurance.
The Executive Secretary of the scheme, Usman Yusuf, gave the indication in Abuja during a courtesy visit on the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC.
Yusuf said the scheme was designed to facilitate access to quality healthcare services for Nigerians and stressed that the rights of the enrollees must be safeguarded.
The Executive Secretary of NHIS solicited for the support and partnership of the NLC to enable the scheme to achieve its objectives.
The NHIS Act requires only federal government employees and private sector businesses with 10 or more employees to register with NHIS.
Unfortunately, the majority of government workers work for state agencies, not federal agencies. Since the law does not apply to them, most don’t opt to join NHIS.
If the NHIS is to increase its coverage, the act may need to be reviewed.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, called on the new leadership of the NHIS to sanitize the scheme to make it deliver effective services to Nigerians.
Comrade Wabba said the contributory medical fund deducted from workers’ salaries to drive the scheme was not part of government revenue and should not be remitted into the Treasuring Single Account.