By Sola Ogundipe
Federal Government is yet to effect any form of deduction from salaries of its employees towards providing healthcare through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Mr. Waziri Dogo-Muhammad gave the clarification in Abuja, on the heels of recent reports making the rounds that workersâ€™ pay slips have been reflecting deductions made to the NHIS.
Dogo-Muhammad said the initial arrangement was for Federal government to pay 10 per cent on behalf of each employee, while the balance of five percent was to come from the employee.
However, he added that since Federal civil servants began to enjoy care under the scheme as from 2005, the scheme has been funded by governmentâ€™s contribution.
The NHIS boss restated the call for expansion of sources of funding for the scheme in order to extend healthcare to as many Nigerians as possible, citing Ghana where its Value Added Tax (VAT) is channelled towards health insurance.
Furthermore, Dogo-Muhammed highlighted the impact of the scheme to include infrastructure upgrade by hospitals as well as private sector participation, noting that with the imminent coverage of over twenty million students of tertiary institutions, a significant milestone would have been achieved.
Chairman of the Governing Council of NHIS, Prof. Eyitayo Lambo noted that the scheme is a priority of Federal government which implementation would be diligently pursued.
He described the NHIS as the best strategy to ensure sustainable healthcare financing,insisting that the scheme has the capacity to guarantee quality healthcare.