The federal government has officially unveiled the operational guidelines for the new National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Act, which was signed into law in 2022. The unveiling of these guidelines took place during a ceremony in Abuja, where government officials and health experts gathered to discuss the future of healthcare in Nigeria.
The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate, took the stage during the launch event and emphasized that the NHIA Act, along with the newly revealed operational guidelines, signals a crucial turning point for the healthcare sector. He expressed his confidence that these measures would accelerate the progress of health insurance in the country.
Prof. Pate stated, “The guidelines will provide direction for the country to ensure more Nigerians are covered and to expand the affordability of healthcare for the population, especially the most vulnerable.”
He also called upon state governments to play their part by enrolling their formal sector employees in the program and providing the necessary 25% counterpart funding.
Prof. Mohammed Sambo, the Director General of the NHIA, explained that the guidelines are designed to provide clarity regarding the roles, responsibilities, and obligations of all stakeholders involved in healthcare. These guidelines align with the principles of equity, quality, and sustainability, setting a strong foundation for the future of healthcare in Nigeria.
Alexander Chimbaru, the Deputy Country Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Nigeria, also shared his perspective at the event. He highlighted that the newly unveiled guidelines address the challenges that existed within the previous National Health Insurance Scheme, providing optimism for a more robust and inclusive healthcare system for all Nigerians.