NHIS looks to the poor for 40m enrollees in 2016. 

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Having neglected the socially excluded poor and the vulnerable who cannot afford healthcare, the National Health Insurance Scheme‎ (NHIS) is designing ways to intervene for them as it looks to improve its enrollees to 40 million Nigerians in 2016.

The scheme currently has seven million enrollees since its inceptions and this is dark spot on its achievement.

The Acting Executive Secretary, Olufemi Akingbade, while taking stock of the outgoing year said that the scheme would improve on existing programs to reach the formal and informal sectors.

“‎2016 promises to be a very busy year for us. In conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies, we are going to do a lot of interventions for next year.

“We have been able to identify those classes of people as socially excluded poor, people who cannot afford healthcare and the vulnerable ones.

“The NHIS and the Federal Government are coming out with directives for direct interventions for them.

“‎We are going to do this from allocation of the consolidated revenue as appropriated by the National Health Act, from NHIS efficiency base.’’

Akingbade said that the scheme was encouraging state governments to develop their health management agencies to enable the citizens to access health insurance programmes.

“‎The scheme is also repackaging the Tertiary Health Insurance Programme, the National Mobile Health Insurance Programme and some other programmes.

The National Mobile Health Insurance Programme is being repackaged to involve many Nigerians while it will also rebrand the Maternal and Child Mortality programme of the Millennium Development Goals to be Unified Maternal and Child Care Health Delivery.

He said the scheme would also focus more interventions on students and render emergency interventions, especially to internally displaced persons, by providing facilities for health insurance when they return to their localities.

However, he said the scheme was discarding Health Maintenance Organisations, which did not comply with the target of acknowledging and rendering health services to en‎rollees.

Akingbade said NHIS was galvanising efforts to restore confidence in excellence and professionalism and discourage medical tourism by Nigerians‎.

He solicited cooperation from the media to avail the citizenry requirements on health insurance enrollment.

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