By Hassan Zaggi
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has brought together stakeholders in the health sector to validate the Health Insurance Under One Roof (HIUOR) document.
The meeting which was held in Abuja, on Tuesday, is in an effort to accelerate the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria.
While declaring the meeting open, the Executive Secretary of NHIS, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, disclosed that the document was a product of extensive deliberations and consultations among many stakeholders.
He applauded the World Health Organisation (WHO) for providing technical support through a consultant to the committee that was saddled with the responsibility of putting the document together.
“After series of meeting and deliberations, we now have a draft policy document for Health Insurance Under One Roof (HIUOR),” the Executive Secretary stressed.
Prof. Sambo challenged the stakeholders to put in their best and validate the document before it is finalized, printed and distributed.
“For the attainment of UHC in Nigeria which is in alignment with President Muhammadu Buhari Health Sector Next Level Agenda requires an effective framework for coordination, integration and harmonization of efforts of all stakeholders in the health insurance space in Nigeria. This is the basis of the concept of Health Insurance Under One Roof (HIUOR).
“Health Insurance Under One Roof was widely discussed at a three-day workshop was held at the Goshen City, Nasarawa State, attended by participants from State Health Insurance /Contributory Agencies across the nation, the National Health Insurance Scheme, Development Partners and Civil Society Organizations among other stakeholders.
“At the end of the three-day retreat, some resolutions were reached among which was the setting up of a Technical Committee to drive the process for the production and adoption of a policy document with clear monitoring and evaluation framework.
“I therefore encourage you to treat this task with all seriousness as I believe that working together through Health Insurance Under One Roof will fast track our progress towards ensuring quality and affordable healthcare for all Nigerians,” Prof. Sambo said.
On his part, the chairman of the Forum of Chief Executive Officers of State Health Insurance Agencies (SSHIAS), Dr. Adeniyi Oginni, reiterated the commitment of state offices to the successful implementation of the HIUOR policy, assuring that they would “leave no stone unturned in accelerating the march towards attainment of UHC for our great country.”
He, however, noted that: “I have the mandate of members of the Forum of CEOs of SSHIAs to draw our attention to some grey areas in the draft policy which were raised at the level of the TWG and by individual states at different fora but which are yet to be attended to.
“Consequently, these grey areas will be presented in this meeting with a view to resolving them before the policy document is validated.
“It is our hope that the issues raised will be objectively deliberated on by all stakeholders present and the suggested amendments adopted in order to ensure smooth operationalization of the policy