The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has said that peace and harmony have returned to the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS.
According to the minister, the Scheme is currently enjoying the benefit of the enabling environment for productive work.
The Minister spoke at the formal launch of the Group, Individual and Family Social Health Insurance Programme, GIFSHIP in Abuja on Thursday.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the termination of the appointment of former Executive Secretary, Prof. Usman Yusuf and had approved the appointment of Prof. Mohammed Nasir Sambo as the new Executive Secretary.
ND REPORTERS recalls that Prof. Yusuf, before his sack, was on administrative leave following a crisis rocking the leadership of the health agency.
The Minister noted that the development has brought relative peace and harmony which have brought about benefits in the health agency.
“The programme we are gathered to present today is the Group Individual and Family Social Health Insurance Programme, known simply as ‘GIFSHIP’, a product of the lessons learned and the experience gained from implementing a previous programme, the Vital Contributors Social Health Insurance Programme (VCSHIP).
“This new programme addresses the challenges and barriers encountered during implementation of the VCSHIP, both by beneficiaries and operators. GIFSHIP eliminates known difficulties as it creates additional value by expanding and upgrading VCSHIP for better reach, service quality and user experience.
“Those who have closely followed the story of NHIS, will not fail to note that this is the benefit of the enabling environment for productive work, accruing from the peace and harmony that now reign there.
“NHIS has come of age and is rising to the challenge of supporting the President’s Universal Health Coverage agenda with a transformative Reform Agenda.
“Credit goes to the management of NHIS, under its new Chief Executive, Prof. Sambo, who is stewarding this key Agency with remarkable dedication, to fulfil its mandate, which essentially is to provide financial access to quality healthcare for all Nigerians, in addition to providing regulatory governance for the health insurance sub-sector.
”On a recent working visit to the NHIS Corporate Head Office and Data and Customer Care Centre, I saw, first hand, the pace of work and the commitment of the staff, and I can confirm that the organisation is poised for progress.
“The programme we are presenting here today is the outcome of wide-ranging and far-reaching reforms within the NHIS to significantly increase the fiscal space for Healthcare services.
“Worthy of note is the recent approval by the Federal Executive Council of the e-NHIS Project, a robust ICT infrastructure to be developed and deployed to facilitate enrollee verification, access to care, data collection and management.
“It will include analytics, which will feed into a disease map that will be of great benefit in the management of public health across the nation.
“This comprehensive ICT profile will be deployed to facilitate the implementation of GIFSHIP, among other activities of NHIS, and give subscribers easier access to service and more value for money that will support their health-seeking endeavours.
“A major objective of GIFSHIP is to rapidly expand the scope of healthcare coverage in our urgent quest to attain Universal Health Coverage, for which we cannot afford to leave anyone behind. GIFSHIP offers citizens an opportunity to participate and benefit from health insurance.
“There is an opportunity for affordable individual enrolment, enrolment of a family unit or a group of people. Any of the enrolments can also be sponsored by well-meaning individuals, Trusts, or organizations.
“I, therefore, invite members of the polity, philanthropists, Nigerians in the diaspora, among others, to take advantage of this fantastic option to provide healthcare coverage for their families, communities, clans and enrol members of their constituencies, loved ones and relations, thereby giving them financial access to comprehensive quality healthcare at the point of need. The larger the pool of enrollees, the stronger the Insurance base will be.
“The Basic healthcare provision fund will be dedicated to the poor and vulnerable as captured in our social register.
“The data, financial and claims management will be assured with the secured electronic platform set up in collaboration with NIGCOMSAT and approved by the Federal Executive Council, that will issue each enrollee a personal e-card that allows him to access medical treatment anywhere in the country, while fully ensuring privacy and data protection. There are options for basic cover and coverage upgrades.”