By Muhammad Auwal
The Federal Government is working towards establishing a compulsory Health Insurance Scheme where government pays the premium for the poor, Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo said.
Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, quoted Osinbajo as saying that the proposed scheme was part of the Next Level agenda.
The vice president spoke on Tuesday night, as Guest of Honour, at the Invest Africa forum hosted by the publishers of Africa Report magazine, which held at London’s Royal Society hall.
“On healthcare, to cut the long story short, where we are going is the National Health Insurance.
“At the moment, we have National Health Insurance, which is not compulsory.
“So, we are looking at compulsory National Health Insurance and we are also looking at how to pay the premium, especially for the poorest.”
The vice president, who took questions from the publishers of Africa Report and members of the audience, explained that the plan was to have a co-payment arrangement.
He said that the government would provide payments of premium or free medical care for 40 percent which is the poorest segment, and the other 60 percent will be compulsory co-payments for formal and informal workers.
Osinbajo said that at the moment, most people who sought medical help paid out of pockets, adding that it was one of the reasons why Nigeria had poor health indices at the moment.