Jonathan seeks support for universal health coverage
Providing access to affordable and qualitative healthcare delivery for every Nigerian has received a boost from President Goodluck Jonathan, as he hosts a weeklong Presidential Summit on Universal Health Coverage in the first quarter of this year.
The Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr. Femi Thomas, dropped the hint in Abuja, while receiving a delegation of the management of the FCT Health Services Scheme (FHSS).
Thomas, according to a statement signed by Head, Media & Public Relations, NHIS, Ayo Osinlu, said at the occasion that the Summit which is scheduled for March 10-14, will galvanise support from various sectors of the economy, while exploring more possible sources of funding.
Furthermore, the summit will also seek to generate concepts and strategies to facilitate the process and benefits of Universal Health Coverage in the country, besides defining a roadmap and work plan for the successful accomplishment of the objective of rapid development of the nation’s human capital.
He, therefore, commended the efforts of FHSS in scaling up coverage in the FCT, adding that the Scheme was always willing to support FHSS with advocacy and technical expertise.
Describing the visit as auspicious, Thomas called on political leaders at State and Local government levels to recognize health insurance as the most viable option for healthcare financing, having produced enviable outcomes in developed economies.
He expressed the Scheme’s concern about States that have not fulfilled their obligation under the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) project, by failing to remit their counterpart fund, adding that such instances could hinder the attainment of critical but plausible milestones.
Thomas highlighted funding as a critical factor in driving the health insurance process, especially as regards extending coverage to persons identified as vulnerable, who are unable to make contributions to the pool.
He, however, assured that the strategies set out by the Scheme would ensure inclusiveness, regardless of socio-economic status of Nigerians.
Speaking earlier, the Programme Manager of FHSS, Dr. Evans Onyekele said that 68,000 persons have been enrolled under the FCT programme, as well as twenty-two communities under the Community Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBSHIP).
He stated that a revalidating process to determine bona fide enrolees has been commenced, adding that the goal to provide quality services remained in focus.
He called for sustained cooperation between NHIS and the FCT, in the mutual objective of providing easy access to affordable and qualitative healthcare in the area.