From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has finalized plans to launch the long-awaited Universal Health Coverage programme, with the goal of making quality healthcare affordable and accessible to 83 million vulnerable Nigerians.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, made the disclosure when the delegation from World Health Organisation (WHO) led its Country Representative, Dr. Walter Kazadi alongside the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Prof. Mohammed Sambo, paid him a courtesy visit in his office.
According to a statement by
Director (Information), Willie Bassey, Mustapha said that the signing into law of the National Health Insurance Authority Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari, signaled a new lease of life to the health sector, which would make universal health coverage accessible to the vulnerable in every nooks and crannies of the country.
According him, “In May of this year, we had the President signed the bill, now made it to an act to create first, the agency that is going to administer the universal health insurance coverage to cater for the 83 million vulnerable you mentioned. And also to superintend over the general administration of the insurance coverage across the length and breadth of this country.”
Mustapha thanked the WHO for the technical and financial support it has received, which have assisted the country in its fight against COVID-19 in the country.
According to the SGF, one of the multiplier effects of treating sicknesses is the impoverishment of the families affected because of the out-of-pocket expenses being expended in the course of treatment. He added that with the signing into the law the NHIA, it would go a long way to reduce poverty and improve the economic lives of Nigerians.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Prof. Mohammed Sambo thanked President Buhari for the bold step he has taken to sign into law the National Health Insurance Act.
According to him, this singular feat achieved by the President would place Nigeria on a trajectory of attaining the universal health coverage for all Nigerians in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030.
World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative, Dr. Walter Kazadi, congratulated President Buhari for signing into law the National Health Insurance Act (NHIA), which would make healthcare services accessible to the vulnerables in the society and by extension, improve the health and economic status of Nigerians.