Prof. Mohammed Sambo, the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, says the scheme is planning to extend health insurance to diplomats abroad to enhance Universal Health Coverage, UHC.
Mr Sambo told the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja, that NHIS had been working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to achieve the feat.
He said “when we met with the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, they said that they wanted to concentrate on their competence in diplomatic activities and allow us to take care of the healthcare services outside the country.
“We will work out modalities to work with some health insurance institutions abroad who will work with us and provide services and NHIS reimburses them accordingly.
“We are working toward a comprehensive modality, the final blueprint is not yet out and when we finish, we will let you know the details.”
Similarly, Sambo said the scheme would include corp members into its scheme as a team from NHIS had already visited the Director General of National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, for implementation.
He explained that “when I came, I revisited the issue because the mandate has been long, it has not been implemented so my team visited the NYSC boss.
“We had a chat which culminated in a certain technical committee and that committee is now working on the final modality on how to cover the NYSC segment of the population.
“This is part of our matrix of coverage under our desire to attain universal health coverage and the discussion has gone into an advanced stage.
“When it is completed, we are ready to roll out the coverage,’’ he said.
Sambo further told NAN that NHIS was working with some agencies to extend health insurance to some vulnerable Nigerians, saying “we are working with the office of the National Social Security Coordinate unit.
“They have this robust data which they designated as a poor segment of the population and these are the people that are being catered for by the office of the National Social Security in terms of giving them some stipends.
“So we are going to work with them and ensure that this segment of the population, apart from what they are receiving from government, are also covered by social health insurance scheme.’’
In addition, he said, NHIS was also talking with the Office of the National Commission for Refugees to take the inventory of all refugees.
“We will work with the office and see how we will cover them under the National Health Insurance.
“We also have a programme for people with disability in our matrix of coverage.
“We need to open dialogue with relevant agencies and governments to see how we can cover that segment of the population.
“Then we also have the prison inmate programme, even though employees of the prison service are under NHIS.”
He explained that “inmates are being handled by the prison services; we want to see how they can be enrolled in the National Health Insurance.’’
According to him, the office has catalogued all issues under its coverage matrix, waiting to have health insurance under one roof to be able to finalise everything with respect to coverage.
“When we finish that one, we will now approach other agencies and government institutions to work out modalities for comprehensive cover,” he said.