Enrolled experts strive for the full implementation of health insurance law

Some experts and enrollees have called for a framework that guarantees the federal government’s full implementation of the newly signed National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) bill.

They made the call in separate interviews in Lagos on Saturday as they responded to the newly signed National Health Insurance Agency law 2022.

A medical imaging scientist, Livinus Abonyi, commended Mr Buhari for signing the bill, adding that health insurance is a desirable “way to go”.

Mr Abonyi, a senior lecturer at the Department of Medical Radiography, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, said it was being used in many countries to ensure a larger percentage of their population could access healthcare services.

He called for a review of the operations of health care providers and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) to ensure improvements in their services.

An HMO worker, Godwin Ekanem, said the newly signed Health Insurance Act was a “welcome development”.

Mr Ekanem said that with the new health insurance rules, vulnerable people, including those in rural communities, would now have access to health services.

He further said there was a need to enforce the law, saying proper implementation would go a long way in reducing the death rate while improving the health of citizens.

An NHIS candidate, Moses Omorogieva, said national health insurance continued to be one of the government’s initiatives that had a significant impact on his life.

Mr Omorogieva said the program has helped him and his household access many health services.

However, he called for an improvement in the quality of the services and health care provided under the program.

President Muhammadu Buhari signed the National Health Insurance Authority Act 2022 on May 19, repealing the National Health Insurance Scheme Act, Cap N42, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

Mr Buhari had said a Vulnerable Groups Fund would be set up to ensure coverage for 83 million poor Nigerians who could not afford to pay premiums, as recommended by the Lancet Nigeria Commission.

He said the agency will work with state health insurance systems to accredit primary and secondary health facilities and enroll Nigerians in the system to ensure quality health care.

(NAN)

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