February 28, 2024

750,000 Nigerians enrolled in health insurance scheme – FG

750,000 Nigerians enrolled in health insurance scheme – FG

Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate

The Federal Government said 750,000 Nigerians have been enrolled in the National Health Insurance Scheme.

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Pate, disclosed this at the third edition of the ministerial press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday.

He noted that the President Bola Tinubu-led administration will unveil a comprehensive programme to digitise the nation’s healthcare system in the next two weeks.

The Special Adviser to the President on Health, Dr. Salma Anas-Ibrahim, had, in August 2024, said the FG would provide health coverage to over 50 million Nigerians, especially the vulnerable and elderly, by 2027.

She noted that no one would be left behind in achieving universal health coverage in the country.

In October 2023, the FG launched the operational guidelines for the 2022 National Health Insurance Authority Act as part of efforts to ensure all Nigerians have access to affordable healthcare services.

The guidelines are to facilitate the implementation of health insurance and to ensure that no Nigerian is left behind.

Speaking at the briefing, Pate said the government has so far made substantial strides in expanding health insurance coverage.

He said, “Recognising that financial barriers often deter individuals from seeking medical care, we have worked tirelessly to increase the accessibility and affordability of health insurance schemes.

“By supporting enrollment initiatives and streamlining administrative processes, we have extended coverage to millions of Nigerians, safeguarding them against the financial hardships associated with healthcare expenses.

“​Since the beginning of this administration, we have enrolled about 750,000 more Nigerians in health insurance. We remain committed to providing access to quality health for all Nigerians through the Vulnerable Group Fund and the Basic Health Care Provision Fund.”

He added that the government is committed to improving tertiary healthcare services in the country.

“I am also pleased to announce a significant increase in patient attendance at federal tertiary hospitals, a testament to the improved quality of care and confidence in our healthcare system.

“Through targeted investments in infrastructure, technology, and human capital, we will enhance the capacity of these institutions to deliver specialised medical services and handle complex health conditions, ensuring that every Nigerian has access to world-class healthcare when needed.

“Our commitment to improving tertiary healthcare services is unwavering. Twelve tertiary hospitals and centrea have been earmarked for infrastructure development, including the establishment of oncology centres, radiology centres, and diagnostics facilities.

“These investments will enhance our capacity to provide specialized care and meet the evolving healthcare needs of our people,” Pate stated.

He noted that the government is working with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to address the shortage of healthcare professionals by increasing the number of medical students admitted to medical schools in the country.

According to him, the healthcare system in the country will be digitalised as part of the ministry’s agenda for the healthcare sector.

“Digitalisation is poised to revolutionise healthcare delivery in Nigeria, and we are committed to embracing this transformation.

“Within the next two weeks, we will unveil a comprehensive program to digitize our healthcare system, streamlining processes, enhancing efficiency, and improving patient outcomes,” Pate stated.