UN Agency for International Development (USAID) says it will continue to support federal and state governments as they develop affordable and quality healthcare systems for Nigerians.
Deputy Health Office Director of the agency in Nigeria, Minal Amin, said this at a three-day workshop for state social health insurance agencies, organised by National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) on Tuesday in Kano.
The workshop is in partnership with USAID and Department for International Development (DFID) with the theme: “Shaping the Future of Health Insurance in Nigeria.”
She said that the workshop would help key health stakeholders to learn from one another and to help Nigeria to meet the needs of poor and vulnerable populations to lead healthier lives through easy access to health insurance.
She commended Federal Government “on progress made so far toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through substantial new investments at the state and federal levels.
“USAID is certainly proud of its role in supporting the roll-out of state health insurance schemes through our implementing partners, including the Health Policy Plus Project.
“Financial protection remains at the core of universal health coverage. We can only say it has truly been achieved when everyone can access health services they need without falling into financial hardships.
“The roll-out of state health insurance schemes is a testament to the country’s commitment to this effort, and we look forward to its full implementation.”
Amin acknowledged that the journey to implementing insurance and achieving the benefits was going to be long, challenging and risky, notwithstanding the many benefits that health insurance may offer.
She said that the collective discussions was aimed at increasing Nigeria’s financing capacity, extend health insurance coverage to the hard-to-reach populations in each state, expand state benefits packages and improve performance of existing schemes.
She stressed the need for appropriate institutional policy and legal framework to be established to ensure adequate information systems were put in place to support cost control, quality assurance and claims management.
She said “we have come far to achieving our mutual goal of universal health coverage for the people of Nigeria.
“Universal health coverage is within reach. Together, let’s work to identify ways of making healthcare affordable and accessible to Nigerians and particularly to the most vulnerable