Malam Attahiru Ibrahim, Acting Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), says that 98 percent of the Formal Sector Social Health Insurance Programme (FSSHIS) had been covered under the scheme.
Ibrahim made the disclosure in Abuja on Wednesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The acting executive secretary stated that the coverage was one of NHIS’s greatest achievements since the scheme commenced operations in 2005.
‘‘One of our mandates in the scheme is to cover the formal sector and with that we have covered 98 percent of the work force at the federal level.
‘‘The formal sector consists of the public sector, organised private sector, armed forces, police and other uniformed services.
‘‘The programme is, however, a social health security system where health care of employees in the formal sector is paid for, from funds created by pooling the contributions of employees and employers,’’ he said.
Ibrahim stated that universal health coverage needed universal contribution, hence the need for the Federal Government to contribute into the pool to cover for the vulnerable groups.
‘‘Health insurance is contributory and if one is not contributing then he cannot access care, so there is need for equity funds that will care for the old, poor, children and persons with disabilities.
‘‘Presently we are talking about ‘Innovative Financing’ where various companies such as telecommunications, beverages and alcohol companies can be taxed and some percentage could go into the pool for the vulnerable groups.
‘‘However, for this to work we will need a legislation by the National Assembly, after which the President will assent to it, as well as the support from stakeholders and political will from the state governments,’’ he said.
The NHIS boss further appealed to state governors to implement the State Social Health Insurance Scheme (SSHIS) for the actualisation of Universal Health Coverage in the country.