The Ogun State Coordinator of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Adeniji Simon Sanmi, yesterday called on the National Assembly to enact law mandating all Nigerians to enrol for the scheme.
Adeniji insisted that, every Nigerian must be covered by the NHIS, if the country must achieve the universal health coverage by 2030.
He stated this at the stakeholders’ workshop/meeting, organised by the Ogun State office of NHIS in Abeokuta, the State capital.
Adeniji who lamented that, the scheme has suffered a major setback because many States are yet to show commitment to the scheme, making affordable health care services inaccessible to millions of Nigerians, especially those living in the rural communities.
He disclosed that, the meeting was organised to resolve challenges being experienced by Health Management Organisations (HMOs), health care providers, enrollees and other stakeholders in the scheme.
Adeniji stressed the need for every Nigerian, irrespective of social class or their income must have access to basic health care service at little or no cost.
He lamented that, not making NHIS compulsory for all Nigerians has remain “one of the things that have dragged NHIS backward in achieving the goals and mandate that the Federal government have given to us”.
He called for the support of State governments and the private sector to partner with the scheme to enable Nigeria achieve the universal health coverage.
“The goal of NHIS presently is to achieve universal health coverage to cover everyone so that everyone will be able to have access to basic health services without financial burden in their pockets.
“Making NHIS mandatory for all Nigerians is key to achieving the universal health coverage.
“The mandate given to us by the Federal government is to achieve universal health coverage by the year 2030 and we have developed a 10-year strategic plan to take us to that place.
“Part of our strategy is to duplicate our roles and efforts at the State and LG levels so that it will go to the grassroots level.
“No should be left behind, everyone should be carried along, the people in the hinterland, in the villages, in rural areas need the service more than those of us in the city. In the hinterlands, people still die because they have no access to common malaria drugs.