Health Insurance: NHIA advocates allocation of oil block for vulnerable Nigerians – THE AUTHORITY NEWS – THE AUTHORITY NEWS

December 10, 2022
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By Hassan Zaggi
The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) says it is advocating for the allocation of one oil block to fund the health insurance premium of the over 83 vulnerable Nigerians.
The Director General of the NHIA, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, disclosed this at the 6th annual conference of the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ), in Akwanga, Nasarawa State.
He reiterated the need for the government to consider the plight of the vulnerable Nigerians and allocate the Oil Block for the purpose of funding for their health insurance in a sustainable manner.
 “If the government could give oil blocks to individuals, why can’t it give to the 83 million vulnerable Nigerians? A retired General told us some time ago how he sold his oil block for $500 million.”
Represented by  Public Affairs Manager of the agency, Emmanuel Ononokpono, the Director General said that the NHIA has overcome its previous challenges of rancor and acrimony and was on the path of growth for the good of all Nigerians.
He disclosed that in an effort to serve Nigerians better, the NHIA has recruited over 190 health professionals to boost its operation since the past two years.
“We have engaged in a very transparent manner 190 medical persons, five in each state across Nigeria, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and (medical) laboratory scientists.
“Now, we don’t have to send people from the head office to go to the states to conduct quality assurance again; the state offices can handle it,” he said.
While commending the President Mohammadu Buhari-led government for signing the NHIA Act, Prof. Sambo, however, noted that this is one of his major achievements.  “You can’t have universal health coverage without making it compulsory. The Act gives hope to 83 million vulnerable Nigerians that cannot afford to pay for healthcare.”
Earlier in his remarks, the President of ANHEJ, Mallam Hassan Zaggi had called on the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to work hard and present to Nigerians different affordable models that will enable them enroll in health insurance.
Zaggi also announced that the Association of Nigeria of Health Journalists has concluded plans to launch a health insurance for its members next month.
He disclosed that the Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) has committed to support the Association to achieve this.
“For the first phase, we are considering enrolling up to 50 health journalists. The selection process will be very stringent with performance as one of the criteria for enrollment,” he added.

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