By Hassan Zaggi
In an effort to fast-tracked the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), has introduced a new programme that will enable groups, individuals and families to enroll in NHIS.
The scheme is christened Group Individual and Family Social Health Insurance Programme (GIFSHIP).
Speaking while launching the scheme recently, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, explained that the major objective of the scheme is to rapidly expand the scope of healthcare coverage in order to attain UHC.
GIFSHIP, he noted, offers citizens of all categories an opportunity to participate and benefit from the health insurance.
“There is 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.”
GIFSHIP, according to Ehanire, addresses the challenged and barriers encountered during the implementation of an earlier initiative christened Vital Contributors Social Health Insurance Programme (VCSHIP).
While applauding the many achievements recorded by NHIS in recent times under the watch of Prof. Mohammed Gambo, Ehanire said: “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 enrolee 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 management of public health across the nation.”
Speaking, the Executive Secretary of NHIS, Mohammed Gambo, disclosed that his agency has become fairly peaceful which gave room for massive reforms currently being implemented.
He noted that GIFSHIP will enable individuals, families and groups to join the NHIS ecosystem.
Some of the appealing features of this programme, he explained, include the inbuilt mechanisms to guard against moral hazard, adverse selection as well as allowing room for organizations, political office holders, donor agencies, multinational corporations, philanthropists and people in diaspora to contribute their quota towards the attainment of UHC.
The GIFSHIP, Prof. Gambo further said, will leverage on the overarching e-NHIS framework which has been on the drawing board for more than a decade and which was recently approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), to be deployed in few months to come.