By Zayamu Hassan
The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) says the efforts of the government to tackle the high incidence of poverty caused by out-of-pocket expenses for health care through health insurance for all categories of Nigerians by 2030 is possible.
In a statement signed by its Spokesman, Emmanuel Ononokpono, the management of the NHIA noted that the Act establishes and empowers the Authority to ensure provision of health insurance for all Nigerians through a mandatory mechanism, in collaboration with state health insurance agencies.
“Specifically, Sections 25 and 26 of the Act establish the Vulnerable Group Fund (VGF), indicating the various sources from which funding would be drawn.
“Furthermore, the legislation strengthens the NHIA to discharge a wide range of regulatory and promotion functions to ultimately ensure that every Nigerian receives access to quality and affordable health care,” the statement noted.
The NHIA, however, clarifies that “the legislation that President Muhammadu Buhari assented to does not make provision for a telecoms tax as a source of funding in the law contrary to hasty reports in some exuberant national media.
“In any event, while the NHIA understands the excitement around the new law, it craves the patience of stakeholders and industry watchers including the media to wait for a formal unveiling of the document in days ahead.”
While applauding the President Buhari for signing the Bill into Law, the NHIA management said that it is “indebted to the Senate and the House of Representatives especially the Committees on Health for their invaluable roles in the lead up to the enactment of the law.
“Also worthy of mention is the part played by the Minister of Health, his state counterpart as well as the Federal ministry of Health during the course of the legislative work on the law.”