FG urges support for UHC through NHIS
The Federal Government has called on donor partners to support the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the country through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Speaking at the strategic stakeholders’ engagement for development partners organised by NHIS yesterday in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, noted that only UHC could guarantee quality, affordable and available healthcare without financial inhibitions.
Achieving UHC is one of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015 at the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), he said, describing UHC as a global objective, to which Nigeria subscribes with great commitment.
Ehanire said with NHIS as Nigeria’s main hub for the attainment of UHC, it becomes imperative to mobilise all available support for the scheme in a coordinated manner that would deliver the expected outcomes in the right measure and quality.
The minister stressed the need for the development of the relevant framework, parameters and a sustainable coordination mechanism to ensure value for every effort towards the goal.He observed that in recognition of the support of donors, government inaugurated the Donors’ Forum on the implementation of SDGs, which is a platform for coordinating and focusing the activities of development partners around government strategies, plans and programmes.
“I wish to express the gratitude of the government and the people of Nigeria to the community of donors and implementing partners, who have continued to stand with the country in her quest for the development of her human capital and other critical resources for the advancement of the socio-economic status of the country.
“While appreciating your various inputs, let me assure you of the commitment of the government of Nigeria to continue with efforts aimed at strengthening partnerships, as well as broadening stakeholders’ participation in various engagements, to improve the capacity of Nigerians, to create socio-economic values and to live in acceptable conditions of life.
“This is being progressively achieved, as you continue to work with our people and institutions, to deploy your global expertise to deliver effective international standards of solutions to our development challenges,” he said.
In his address, the executive secretary of NHIS, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, noted that the agency had been slow and of low percentage in enroll ring the Nigerian population into the scheme. He observed that NHIS benefited from the age-long partnership of donors, adding that the engagement was to renew their commitment in assisting serious developing economies like Nigeria. Sambo noted that the NHIS, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and state governments, has commenced the implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) to expand healthcare coverage in the country in pursuance of the National Health Act 2014.