President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law a bill that will make health insurance mandatory for all Nigerians.
The National Health Insurance Authority Bill, 2022, which repeals the National Health Insurance Scheme Act was signed on Thursday.
President Buhari announced his assent to the bill in a tweet.
“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.
“The new National Health Insurance Authority will collaborate with State Government Health Insurance Schemes to accredit primary and secondary healthcare facilities, and ensure the enrollment of Nigerians,” the president tweeted.
A statement subsequently issued by presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, quoted Buhari as saying a Fund will 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 how the fund will be sourced, he said: “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.”
The President announced that 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 will also enable 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.