New Health Insurance Act Will Protect Nigerians From Impoverishment — NPHCDA Boss

Dr. Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), says Nigeria has aligned itself with the global push for universal access to quality and affordable health.

Shuaib made the remark in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday while reacting to the signing of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Act 2022 by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.

Buhari signed the new health insurance law to end the old National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), saying “as part of our healthcare reforms, I have signed into law the recently passed National Health Insurance Authority Bill 2022, which repeals the National Health Insurance Scheme Act.

“We will ensure the full implementation of the new Act to provide coverage for all Nigerians,” Buhari said.

According to the President, the new law will work in line with state government’s health insurance schemes by empowering them to accredit primary and secondary healthcare facilities and ensure the enrollment of Nigerians.

The NPHCDA boss, therefore, said that with the signing of the law, the president had once again shown unwavering commitment to the health reform agenda of his administration.

He said “the NHIA Act will ensure Universal Health Coverage (UHC), aimed at making sure that all citizens access quality health services.

“This will also help to safeguard Nigerians from public health risks and to protect them from impoverishment due to illness, whether from out-of-pocket payments for healthcare or loss of income when a household member falls sick.

“The president is committed to ensuring this and has proven beyond doubt with the new act.”

Some highlights of the NHIA Act 2022, which repeals the NHIS, include compulsory enrollment of all eligible citizens, creation of vulnerable peoples’ fund and creation of NHIA Fund.

Other highlights include a well-defined sharing formula for Basic Health Care Provision Fund, investment of NHIA funds, use of telecommunication tax as source of income, while the head of the authority is a director-general, not an executive secretary.

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