19th May, 2022
By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari pledged on Thursday that a Vulnerable Group Fund would be set up to ensure coverage of 83 million poor Nigerians who cannot afford to pay premiums indicated in the new National Health Insurance Authority Bill 2022 he signed into law on Thursday.
The new law replaced the National Health Insurance Scheme Act, Cap N42, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, who c the signing of the Bill into law in a statement on Thursday in Abuja quoted the President as pledging that a Fund would be set up “to ensure coverage of 83 million poor Nigerians who cannot afford to pay premiums as recommended by the Lancet Nigeria Commission.”
The president further elaborated on how the fund would be sourced, saying that:
“For the large number of vulnerable individuals who are not able to pay health insurance premiums, a Vulnerable Group Fund will be set up.
”This will include a component of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund due to the Authority, Health Insurance Levy, Special Intervention Fund, and any investment proceeds, donations and gifts to the Authority.”
According to him, the authority will collaborate with state government Health Insurance Schemes to accredit primary and secondary health facilities and enroll Nigerians into the scheme in order to ensure the delivery of quality health care.
”The new Act also enables the Authority and state governments to develop information management systems and digital records for better data collection, monitoring and quality assurance.”
The president, therefore, tasked the Health Reform Committee to work with state governments, the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Health Insurance Authority to ensure the implementation of the articles in the new Act.