Buhari Gives Assent To Oloriegbe's NHIA Bill - 9japarrot

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Thursday, 19 May 2022

Buhari Gives Assent To Oloriegbe's NHIA Bill




President Muhammadu Buhari has today signed into law the recently passed National Health Insurance Authority Bill 2022, sponsored by the Senator representing Kwara Central, Dr Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe to expand social health insurance and strengthen the delivery of quality health services to the poor and vulnerable Nigerians without the constraints of financial hardship.

The choice of the bill which repealed the National Health Insurance Scheme Act, Cap N42, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, was said to have stemmed from the enduring resolve of the lawmaker to actualize the collective aspiration of Nigerians to engender robust, affordable and sustainable financial mechanisms for health, that will enhance the ability of Nigeria to achieve Universal Health Coverage.

The president, according to a statement issued on  Thursday by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, said at the signing of the new law that a Fund will be set up to ensure coverage of 83 million poor Nigerians who cannot afford to pay premiums as recommended by the Lancet Nigeria Commission.

He spoke further to elucidate how the Fund will be sourced, President Buhari said: “For the large number of vulnerable individuals who are not able to pay health insurance premiums, a Vulnerable Group Fund will be set up to include a component of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund due to the Authority, Health Insurance Levy, Special Intervention Fund, and any investment proceeds, donations and gifts to the Authority.”

The President announced that the Authority will collaborate with state government Health Insurance Schemes to accredit primary and secondary health facilities and enrol Nigerians into the scheme to ensure the delivery of quality health care.

The new Act will also enable the Authority and state governments to develop information management systems and digital records for better data collection, monitoring and quality assurance.

President Buhari, therefore, tasked the Health Reform Committee to work with state governments, the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Health Insurance Authority to ensure the implementation of the articles in the new Act.

Dr Oloriegbe had while explaining the background of the bill on the floor of the Senate, enunciated that the proposal is an indispensable factor in the quest to achieve Universal Health Coverage which would afford everyone regardless of socioeconomic status unfettered access to the health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial impediments that deprive them of essential health services.

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