Why government should make health insurance compulsory, by NHIS boss
The Acting Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Olufemi Akingbade, has called on the Federal and State governments to make health insurance compulsory in the country.
He called for a system that would support low-income earners and the vulnerable in the society who are unable to make contributions to the scheme.
The call came as the NHIS commenced the training of state coordinators in states to make them better able to execute the scheme at the state level.
Speaking at a capacity building workshop in Minna, Niger State, he called on state coordinators to work with their state governments towards making it mandatory for indigenes and residents to be under one health insurance scheme or the other for their people.
He pledged to work with any state that is willing to adopt the blueprint of the insurance scheme.
Akingbade highlighted how the NHIS’s enabling law makes health insurance voluntary instead of mandatory, and called for a review of the law for greater effectiveness.
He added: “It is then that we can be able to identify those that cannot pay health insurance, we can either do this through an effective tax system or make it a mandatory health insurance scheme.”
He stressed how universal health coverage was built on the core of mandatory payment. He stressed that countries that attained such coverage had compulsory health insurance.
The NHIS boss said the scheme had pursued Universal Health Coverage but noted that coverage remained low.