In an effort to oust out-of-pocket payment and make healthcare services in the country accessible to all Nigerians, particularly the pregnant women, children below the age of five and the vulnerable, a total of 51 million Nigerians are scheduled to get access to free healthcare and medical services without having to pay at the point of service. The government has set plans in place to roll out the universal health coverage in the country.
The good news was disclosed onThursday, by the acting Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Mr Olufemi Akingbade during the official flag-off of Bwari Area Council Community-Based Social Health Insurance Programme (CBSHIP).
Also, apart from the over one million students currently being covered in various universities and other tertiary institutions all over the country, by the year 2025, it has been estimated that every Nigerian will be able to access the coverage as this is a presidential mandate.
He added that the scheme is currently exploring other veritable platforms for the extension of health insurance program to cover more people, particularly at the state level where the biggest percentage of Nigerians are situated and key among them is the State Health Insurance Initiative that was primarily designed to offer a mechanism for efficient implementation to state health access programme and to cut on the excessive dependence on the federal government for health resources.
While commenting on the case of corps members, prison inmates and retirees whom he said should be able to benefit from the scheme, Akingbade said there is a new programme under way which is tagged “Public Primary Pupils Social Health Insurance Programme (PPP-SHIP) which will cover 24 million children.
“By the end of 2017, 51 million Nigerians should be able to access healthcare services without having to pay out-of-pocket at the point of service.”