The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has embarked on the sensitisation of Health Maintainance Organisations (HMOs) and Health Care Facilities (HCFs) in Kwara South Senatorial District on new Act of the authority.
Speaking on the sidelines of the campaign on Friday in Offa Local Government Area of the state, Alhaji Ahmed Yahaya, the Kwara Coordinator of NHIA, explained that the programme revolve around highlighting the new Act of the authority to the stakeholders.
According to him, it is expected to enlighten the NHIA partners on the new improved workings of the authority from the former NHIS.
Yahaya explained that health insurance was now mandatory for all Nigerians, and NHIA was expected to capture the citizens across board.
He said this could mean that most Nigerians who pay for health out of pocket, many of whom are thrown into poverty, as a result could not benefit from the national level mandatory health insurance.
“The new Act of NHIA mandates that by law every Nigerian will get health insurance, and requires all employers and employees in the public and private sectors in the formal and informal sectors to be captured in the scheme,” he said.
He stated that this is a major step towards the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
The NHIA Kwara boss observed that the new Act clearly defines the roles of this authority, including promoting, regulating and integrating health insurance schemes to all.
“It will also improve and harness private sector participation in the provision of healthcare service,” he said.
He added that the authority would sustain the enlightenment campaign across the state to ensure the new Act was fully understood.
Also speaking, Dr Wale Ibitoye, the Managing Director of Wale Clinics and Chairman of the occassion, observed that the scheme commenced operations since 2005 by the Obasanjo administration, focussing on the formal sector for Federal Government Civil Servants.
“But now there is hope that all Nigerians will benefit from the scheme,” he said.
Ibitoye observed that with the new Act of NHIA, health workers would be kept busy, while admonishing doctors in the country to stop seeing themselves as businessmen, adding they are stakeholders in charge of health.
“We are seen as businessmen.
We are stakeholders, who should carryout our profession subtly with love and concern for the public,” he said.
In their different presentations, Dr Mustapha Mohammed, Head of Programmes Unit of the authority, advised enrolless of the scheme to be familiar with their rights, adding that it is the right of enrollees to have access to healthcare without hindrance.
On his part, Dr Saka Ismail, Head of Unit, Standard and Quality Assurance of Kwara NHIA, noted that the authority was aware of complaints from enrollees of being administered low quality drugs, among other challenges.
He assured that the new act would eradicate any challenge and diminish any stumbling block to the success of the implementation of the scheme for Nigerians.
Editted by AbdulFatai Suleiman Tola
Group photograph of NHIA sensitisation of HMOs and HCFs in Offa LGA of Kwara on Friday.