The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), has said with N3 trillion, about 200 million Nigerians would be able to have access to health insurance.
The Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Mohammed Sambo, who made this known during a meeting with the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said one third of the nation’s budget should be set aside annually for Nigerians health cover.
According to him, with sufficient funds in the health insurance pool, the Scheme would be able to expand its benefit package to include medical conditions such as cancer which was currently excluded.
While noting that establishment of a Catastrophic Fund was being planned to specifically address terminal ailments, he said they were on-going processes to expand insurance coverage to all segments of society including members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
He noted that the processes for the NYSC members have been finalized and coverage would commence with the release of funds by the government for that purpose, adding that plans to extend health insurance cover to the elderly and retirees have reached an advanced stage.
Sambo, who further acknowledged the challenges of drug dispensing within the health insurance system, expressed the optimism that NHIS’ collaboration with drug manufacturers, in a plan that will affect direct supplies to hospitals, will ensure affordability and availability.