Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law a new universal health coverage Act with plans to set up a healthcare fund to cover up to 83 million poor people who cannot afford premiums for insurance schemes.
Tagged the National Health Insurance Authority Bill 2022, it replaces the National Health Insurance Scheme Act, Cap N42, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
Speaking at the signing of the new law, the President revealed 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.
On the source of the Fund, he posited 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 to 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.”
In addition, the President announced that the Authority would collaborate with state government Health Insurance Schemes to accredit primary and secondary health facilities and enrol Nigerians into the scheme.
The president said the collaboration would 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.
President Buhari 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