In a bid to oust out-of-pocket payment and make healthcare services accessible to all Nigerians, especially pregnant women, children under the age of five and the vulnerable, 51 million Nigerians are expected to have access to free healthcare services without having to pay at the point of service.
Also, besides over one million students currently being covered in various tertiary institutions across the country, by the year 2025, it has been estimated that every Nigerian will access the coverage as this is a presidential mandate.
This was disclosed, Thursday, by the acting Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Mr Olufemi Akingbade at the official flag-off of Bwari Area Council Community-Based Social Health Insurance Programme (CBSHIP).
He said the scheme is exploring other veritable platforms for the extension of health insurance to more people, especially at the state level where the greatest percentage of Nigerians are located and key among them is the State Health Insurance Initiative which was designed to provide a mechanism for efficient implementation to state health access programme and to reduce excessive dependence on the federal government for health resources.
While making case for corps members, prison inmates and retirees whom he said should be able to benefit from the scheme, Akingbade said there is a new programme under way which is tagged “Public Primary Pupils Social Health Insurance Programme (PPP-SHIP) which will cover 24 million children.
“By the end of 2017, 51 million Nigerians should be able to access healthcare services without having to pay out-of-pocket at the point of service.”
“It is expected to cover about 24 million children of school going age between 6-12 years in public primary schools nationwide. When fully on stream, it is envisaged that the programme will facilitate the inculcation of the culture of health insurance among Nigerians from a tender age.”