NHIA leads healthcare transformation through private sector collaboration

By Abujah Racheal

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is spearheading an innovative strategy to address healthcare access challenges by integrating government support with private sector innovation.

Dr Kelechi Ohiri, Director-General of NHIA, disclosed this during a Forum of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of State Social Health Insurance Agencies (SSHIA) quarterly review meeting on Friday in Abuja.

Ohiri emphasised the importance of tailoring solutions to the country’s specific context and needs, highlighting the nation’s distinct approach amid diverse global healthcare systems.

While citing examples like the UK’s tax-based system and Germany’s social health insurance scheme, he underscored the country’s unique trajectory.

“A key aspect of Nigeria’s approach is acknowledging the limitations of the market in serving vulnerable populations,” he said.

He stressed the government’s commitment to subsidising healthcare for the needy, promoting social solidarity, and bridging the healthcare gap.

He also praised the country’s dynamic private sector, drawing parallels with the transformative impact of the telecom industry.

“Leveraging this entrepreneurial spirit, the government seeks to harness private sector innovation to enhance healthcare access,” he said.

He underlined the importance of data-driven decision-making and collaboration between public and private stakeholders to optimize resource allocation and enhance efficiency.

“By synergising government support and private sector innovation, Nigeria aims to ensure universal financial access to healthcare, setting a precedent for tailored and sustainable solutions,” he said.

He reiterated the government’s transparency and commitment to public engagement throughout the implementation process, aiming to establish a healthcare system that caters to all Nigerians’ needs, irrespective of their socioeconomic status.

He highlighted NHIA’s pivotal role in providing financial protection to the poor, aiming to mitigate catastrophic healthcare costs and expand coverage through three key agendas: increasing enrollment, promoting equity, and ensuring quality care.

Acknowledging the mixed healthcare system, he outlined plans to strengthen state health insurance agencies and foster collaboration with the private sector to bolster efficiency and sustainability.

Despite challenges, NHIA remains steadfast in its mission to reduce health poverty.

He urged strategic partnerships to achieve expanded coverage and improved access nationwide.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Forum of CEOs of state SSHIA has reported a notable achievement in the NHIA, disclosing that within just five years of its establishment, 50 per cent of citizens are now enrolled in the scheme.

They said the enrollment rate signifies substantial progress in expanding health insurance coverage and underscores the effectiveness of the NHIA in reaching and enrolling a significant portion of the population.

They said that the SSHIS, introduced by the Nigerian government, was designed to address the long-standing issue of limited healthcare access for a significant portion of the population. 

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