Benefits of NHIS in NIgeria

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Overview of NHIS

Healthcare provision in Nigeria is a concurrent responsibility of the three tiers of government in the country. Private providers of healthcare have a visible role to play in health care delivery.

The federal government’s role is mostly limited to coordinating the affairs of the university teaching hospitals, Federal Medical Centres (tertiary healthcare) while the state government manages the various general hospitals (secondary healthcare) and the local government focus on dispensaries (primary healthcare), which are regulated by the federal government through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

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National Health Insurance Scheme refers to a health insurance program set up by the National government.

History

The Scheme was established under Act 35 of 1999 by the Federal Government of Nigeria, is aimed at providing easy access to healthcare for all Nigerians at an affordable cost through various prepayment systems. NHIS is totally committed to securing universal coverage and access to adequate and affordable healthcare in order to improve the health status of Nigerians, especially for those participating in the various programmes/products of the Scheme.

Historically, health insurance in Nigeria can be applied to a few instances: free health care provided and financed for all citizens, health care provided by government through a special health insurance scheme for government employees and private firms entering contracts with private health care providers. However, there are few people who fall within the three instances.

In May 1999, the government created the National Health Insurance Scheme, the scheme encompasses government employees, the organized private sector and the informal sector. Legislative wise, the scheme also covers children under five, permanently disabled persons and prison inmates. In 2004, the administration of Obasanjo further gave more legislative powers to the scheme with positive amendments to the original 1999 legislative act.

The Role of Government

It is generally believed that the role of any functioning government is to provide basic and social amenities to its subjects which includes provision of adequate health care system, It is also believed in some quarters that the federal government cannot be left alone to shoulder the responsibility if we truly want the dividends of democracy to flow round the nooks and crannies of both the states and local communities.

Ogun State Government

All states of the federation are involved in NHIS and some go step further in Inaugurating Community Based Health Insurance Scheme, Ogun State is of them. The state has taken the front role in fulfilling promises on dividends of democracy with a very popular, Slogan “Mission to Rebuild” which was very paramount and prominent on walls of all the completed project in the last dispensation of Senator Ibikunle Amosun, The Executive Governor of Ogun State.

In His bid to continue with what he started during his first tenure in office, he rebranded the slogan to “Mission to Rebuild Continue” and indeed the job has begun again.

Ogun State CBHIS (ARAYA)

Ogun State Government through his Commissioner of Health, Dr. Ipaye announced that “Gov. Ibikunle Amosun, on Mon.11th July, 2016, will declare open a new health scheme christened “Araya Scale Up”

NHIS
Couretesy: Ogun State Ministry of Information

The project is a Community Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHS), meant 2 provide affordable health care service delivery to the entire public.

The event which will hold at the June 12 Cultural Centre will start by 12 noon and all expected dignitaries and stakeholders are expected to be sited by 10am prompt.

The Benefit of the Community Based Health Insurance Scheme to the Indigenes

  • The Community Based Health Insurance Scheme is designed to provide financial protection against all causes of illness and improving access to quality health services for those who are excluded from the formal insurance.
  • The widespread participation in CBHIS across Ogun State will provide free-healthcare for the vulnerable group- pregnant mothers, children under five years and the aged (70 years and above) while the cost of health care for the general populace will also be subsidized by government
  • Benefit derivable from the CBHIS, according to the governor, includes improved access to healthcare delivery by setting high standards; reduction of poverty in the state by reducing out of pocket expenses for health care delivery; augmentation of government expenditure on health, which is quite low in Nigeria; increased efficiency in the healthcare delivery system and provision of free health care for pregnant women and children under five years.

This is a welcome development and it will be of greater good if other neighboring states can emulate this and deliver on their promises, good and affordable health care provision will increase the life expectancy of our citizens.

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