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Health insurance covers 80% cancer treatment – NHIA DG

The Director General of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Prof Mohammed Sambo, says the new NHIA Act has expanded...

The Director General of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Prof Mohammed Sambo, says the new NHIA Act has expanded coverage for cancer management.

He said with the new act and partnership with Roche and other pharmaceutical companies, 80 per cent of the cost of cancer treatment had been taken away from patients.

He stated this yesterday in Abuja, during a workshop on the NHIA Act for desk officers across ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

Sambo said some aspects of cancer care were covered under the old NHIS but that people didn’t know.

Represented by Jonathan Ekeh, General Manager, Formal Sector Program, NHIA, he said the reforms were being done to ensure that every Nigerian irrespective of socioeconomic status had access to quality health services without bearing the challenges of paying for them. He said the new NHIA Act which was signed into law by former President Muhammadu Buhari on May 19, 2022 made health insurance coverage mandatory for all Nigerians.

“The guideline is being developed including whether to pay directly to providers, and people may not need to get codes from Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) anymore,” he said.

The DG said the NHIA would soon launch its branded drugs to address misconceptions of enrollees about generic drugs and ensure access to quality and safe medicines.

Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office of the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation who was represented by Dr Comfort Adeosun, Director Occupational Health, Safety and Environment, said the workshop was geared towards sensitising the desk officers to bridge the information gap about the new NHIA act among enrollees across the MDAs.

“The desk officers are the point of contact in every MDAs, as without serving them, the enrollees in the MDAs will be underserved, and not understand their rights as enrollees, so with the workshop they will know the things that have changed and this will help with effective implementation of the act,” she said.

 

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