Senate proposes mandatory health insurance

All countries that have made substantial progress towards universal health coverage have done so because they have made it mandatory,” he said.

Tejuosho, however said making health insurance compulsory without sufficient arrangements for subsidization will not work.

“We must make all efforts to subsidize the payments for those who cannot afford premiums,” he said pointing out that the poverty rate in Nigeria was about 35 per cent of the population, which translates to over 60million Nigerians that are living below poverty line.

Declaring open the public hearing, Senate President Bukola Saraki, who was represented by the Deputy Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah said the repeal was to address gaps in the NHIS Act.

Spokesman of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Odoh Onu quoting the Executive Secretary of the Scheme, Professor Usman Yusuf said there was nothing wrong with the present act and rather than repealing it , it should be strengthened to give NHIS more powers for its regulatory roles and to be able to address the issue of corrupt practices, saying the grey areas are those that gave powers to Health Management Organisations (HMOs).

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The ES also called for the removal of HMOs from the board of the scheme saying the regulated was not supposed to be on the board of  the regulator.

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Samuel Edward

Editor at Africa Update