Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has urged the managers of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to collaborate with government of different states of the country and chairmen of local government councils to ensure universal health coverage in the country.
The governor made the call Tuesday, August 28, 2018 in Asaba when the Executive Secretary cum Chief Executive Officer of NHIS, Prof. Usman Yusuf paid him a courtesy call in Asaba.
According to the governor, “for the healthcare act to succeed, there should be a buy-in from the states and local government councils, there should be proper partnership and collaboration with the states and local governments so that they can start the health insurance scheme in their areas, only then will the health insurance scheme succeed.”
He also called for collaborative efforts between the NHIS and the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency to ensure affordable healthcare for all Nigerians.
“I pray for the release of the NHIS funds to you because, it will go a long way to take care of the aged, elderly and the vulnerable in our society, we must find a means to ensure that the funds get to everybody, there must be a collaborative effort with the state and primary healthcare centres in the country to ensure its success,” he said, “adding, “there must be a lot of advocacy to get the informal sector to buy-in into the NHIS because there can be no better way for our people than a healthcare service that is affordable and they will not need to pay at the point of service.”
He expressed hope that the 1 per cent budgetary provision for the primary healthcare would be released for the effective delivery of healthcare in the country, observing that the provision should also, be increased.
Prof. Yusuf had lauded Governor Okowa for being the trail-blazer in the implementation of contributory health insurance scheme in the country, noting that it was important for other state governors to key into the programme because of its numerous benefits.
While disclosing that they were in the state to assess the coverage of NHIS and universal healthcare, Prof. Yusuf, assured Nigerians that the NHIS fund would be managed transparently and equitably; and ensure spread of healthcare coverage in the country.