The Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has expressed his support for the on-going reforms in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for a total revitalisation of the health sector.
Dr. Ehanire made this known during the official opening of the Strategic Stakeholders Forum for Healthcare Providers (HCPs), organised by the National Health Insurance Scheme yesterday, in Abuja. He called on all stakeholders in the sector to take full advantage of the reforms to engage in frank conversations around the issues that have clogged the wheels of the scheme in the past.
Ehanire charged the stakeholders to undertake self-assessment on many fronts towards repositioning themselves for the task ahead as ‘’ all eyes are on the health sector.’’ He added that the expectations of Nigerians are very high, considering the strategic position of the sector with regards to social well-being and human capital development.
He further said that the accredited Health Care Providers under the scheme are invariably very critical stakeholders of NHIS, considering that the providers are the ones among the stakeholders with the most frequent and intimate enrolee encounter, whose impression of the enrolee about NHIS are formed from their experiences at the service point, giving the providers the privilege to influence largely, the image of the scheme.
The Minister stressed that the testimonies of the enrolees about their experiences with providers are critical about how attractive or not the scheme appears to the general or target publics.
He also recalled that the (NHIS) has been of particular concern in recent times, following some protracted crisis with significant impact on its leadership and operations. He however commended the timely intervention of President Muhammad Buhari to arrest the drift, with the appointment of a new Chief Executive, in the person of Professor Muhammad Nasir Sambo, who created the platform for the stakeholders meeting.
In his goodwill message, the Minister of State for Health, Dr (Sen.) Adeleke Mamora, gave kudos to the Management of NHIS for creating several platforms of consultations with all stakeholders, with a view to engendering seamless interactivity, bringing every player in line with operational guidelines and strengthening quality assurance in the processes.
Mamora urged all stakeholders to see the meeting as a rare opportunity to address errors and failures of the past and build from it a future of shared success and glory.
Speaking earlier, the Chief Executive Secretary of the Scheme, Professor Muhammad Nasir Sambo, said that the purpose of the meeting is to meet all stakeholders at the same time in order to address all nagging issues ones and for all, so that all concerned, can work together to achieve the objectives of the NHIS.
In his words, ‘’they have to interface with one another, discuss and share ideas on how to move the sector forward and give Nigerians quality health care services as obtained globally.’’ He added that series of reforms have been put in place for repositioning the sector.
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