Nigerian Health Minister, Isaac Adewole (Prof), has revealed that the poor structure of the Act establishing Nigeria’s Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is the major cause of various crises that have bedeviled the scheme over the years. The minister also linked the inability of the scheme to cover more persons from loopholes in the establishment of the Act.
He asserted that the Act should have made health insurance compulsory for all Nigerians. The Act made insurance voluntary and that is why we are supporting The National Assembly to repeal the Act and put in place a comprehensive package. Let it be comprehensive because it cannot be voluntary. There is a need for the review of the Act and it is ongoing.
I can tell you today that no Executive Secretary of NHIS has completed a full term in office without being sacked or suspended, apart from Mohammed Dogo, the pioneer ES, so it’s not just about this administration,” Adewole said.
He noted that social media has made information readily accessible and available. It made things look as if it is only now that these things are happening, it used to happen before. We are asking the presidential panel to take a more holistic look at the NHIS, to review the Act of the scheme.
The Act seems to have given so much power to the governing board,” Adewole noted. “The governing council, by that Act, was given the power to do whatever is necessary to keep the scheme running. If the council now thinks it is important to do anything to keep the scheme running, nobody can say no."
Adewole averred that with a new Act, practitioners in the health sector believe a more efficient way the scheme should function, will be clearly stated.