By Asmau Ahmad
The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), says youths that have clocked 18 years will be automatically captured in the Tertiary Institutions Social Health Insurance Programme (TISHIP).
The Director-General of NHIA, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, represented by Mr Emmanuel Ononokpono, Manager of Public Affairs of the Authority, said this at the 6th annual conference of Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ) in Akwanga.
The three-day conference was organised by ANHEJ in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The theme of the conference is “Health Security UHC and National Health: How can Nigeria get it right- The Role of the Media in Perspective,” with sub-theme “FP 2030 targets: Is Nigeria on Track?”
TISHIP is a social security system where the health care of students in tertiary institutions is paid for from funds pooled through the contributions of students with a view to creating conducive learning environment.
The programme is designed to provide easy access to healthcare for all tertiary institution students, and the purpose is to cater for health needs of Nigerian students in tertiary institutions who due to their studentship cannot benefit from other Health Insurance Programme.
“Due to the peculiar nature of Nigeria, youths in the world are expected to have left their parents’ home. Ordinarily, at 18 years, youths are supposed to be working, and expected to be on their own.
“In Nigeria, the case is not the same, so the Federal Government will continue to pay for the children’s health services until they get to the age of 18. At the age of 18 years, we except they will be in the university to automatically be covered under the ‘TISHIP,” he said.
The authority boss said that with sure arrangements, it meant they are not left out of the pool completely.
According to him, if the pool continues to expand, the government might decide to continue the health service until end of their lives.
Earlier, the President of ANHEJ, Malam Hassan Zaggi, called on the authority to work hard to present to Nigerians, different affordable models that would enable them enroll in health insurance.
Zaggi said that the association had concluded plans to launch a health insurance for its members in 2023.
He said that the Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) had committed to support the Association to achieve this.
“For the first phase, we are considering enrolling up to 50 health journalists. The selection process will be very stringent with performance as one of the criteria for enrolment,” he said.