By Asmau Ahmad
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has expressed optimism that Health Insurance ‘Under One Roof’ (HIOUR) will help Nigeria to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
General Manager, Formal Sector Department of NHIS, Dr Eke Jonathan who stated this in an interview with newsmen, explained that the HIUOR is an approach to decentralise insurance practice in Nigeria to sub-national (state) level under a central coordinating entity at the Ffederal level.
He said the NHIS had embarked on some reforms, including a review of the HIUOR document to achieve UHC.
UHC means that all individuals and communities receive the health services they need, including the full spectrum of essential, quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care, without suffering any financial hardship
Dr Jonathan added that NHIS held a validation meeting on the HIUOR document, with stakeholders on December 15, 2020, to achieve the desired results.
“What we have after the review is like an implementation protocol for HIOUR that covers the role of every stakeholder. The document is on the robust side; we are also trying to reduce the document from about 70 pages to 30 pages.
“The overall purpose of HIUOR is to cover all Nigerians to achieve UHC, so it is about coordination of the role of NHIS and state health insurance agencies”, he said.
In addition, he said, NHIS had supported the establishment of State Health Insurance Agencies because of the need to make health insurance mandatory at state level to attain UHC.
“HIOUR is to bring order to the system; if there is a coordinating system, it will unify the efforts of all stakeholders at national and state levels.”
According to him, Stakeholders had earlier met at a three-day retreat held to discuss the matrix of coverage for HIOUR, and based on resolutions reached at the meeting, a Technical Committee was to be established.
The general manager said the committee was set up to drive the process for the production and adoption of a policy document, with a clear monitoring and evaluation framework.
NHIS was established by Act 35 of 1999 now CAP N42 LFN 2004, with a mandate to ensure financial access to quality health services for all Nigerians through health insurance.