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NHIS pledges to assist in rebuilding Northeast healthcare infrastructure

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The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is to play an important role in the wider national effort to rebuild healthcare infrastructure in the Northeast region.

Executive Secretary of NHIS, Prof. Mohammed N. Sambo, dropped this hint in Abuja when a delegation from the Borno State Government paid him a courtesy visit, recently.

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Sambo, according to a press statement signed by Head, Media, and Public Relations, NHIS, Emmanuel Ononokpono, noted the importance of putting in place an effective healthcare financing system, stressing that development is unbalanced without the infrastructure to support critical services, including healthcare.

Sambo stated that the process of accrediting healthcare facilities in Borno State by the scheme had begun in earnest, affirming that the exercise would be fast-tracked and special consideration accorded the state against the backdrop of the security challenges it is currently experiencing.

He said the Scheme’s intervention, through its various service platforms, would improve the health indices in the region, adding that its state offices across the country were being strengthened with skilled and relevant personnel and infrastructure to address identified shortcomings in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

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While highlighting benefits of synergy between NHIS and state health insurance agencies, Sambo stressed that achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the country was a task that can be achieved when all stakeholders within the health insurance ecosystem collaborate effectively, expressing the optimism that UHC was achievable within the set 10-year timeline.

He stated that in the next three months, the business processes of the Scheme would be fully automated, saying critical and relevant equipment was being deployed to states as part of the overall effort to set up thee-NHIS platform.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation and Chief of Staff to the Governor, Prof. Isa Marte Hussaini, expressed regrets over the damage caused by insurgency in the state, noting that healthcare infrastructure, including hospitals, have been destroyed in the decade-long battle against insurgents.

Recalling his 25-year experience in the United States (US), Hussaini acknowledged the pivotal role of health insurance in health care delivery, noting that the state government had established its state health insurance agency and put relevant structures, such as governing board and management, in place for the effective operation of the programme.

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Hussaini, who also superintends the Ministry of Health, said the delegation was seeking the assistance of the Scheme in speedy accreditation of its healthcare facilities and technical support for enrolment of vulnerable groups in the state.

Meanwhile, Sambo has taken delivery of the first batch of the NHIS enrollee identity cards from NIGCOMSAT, the technical partner handling the process.

During a brief ceremony at NHIS head office in Abuja, an obviously delighted Sambo stated that the cards represent a significant milestone in the path to the automation of the NHIS business processes, adding that when e-NHIS comes on stream fully, enrollment activities, such as registration, change of provider and others, would be less cumbersome.


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