The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) on Friday urged Nigerians, especially those in the informal sector to enroll in the contributory health programme to enjoy universal health coverage.
Mrs Nonye Unaegbu, the Senior Manager, NHIS made the call at the free medical screening conducted by Managed Healthcare Services, a Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO) for members of staff of the Federal Ministry of Finance in Abuja.
Unaegbu, who identified the scheme as “Vital Contributory Social Health Insurance Programme (VCSHIP)”, said it was aimed at ensuring that every citizen reaped full benefits of NHIS.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that VCSHIP is a programme designed for those that are not currently covered by any of the NHIS programmes and those who may not have been satisfied with the existing health care services.
The manager described the programme as“ a mandatory scheme for all Nigerians” saying it only attracted an annual payment of N15, 000 to enable enrolees and their families receive desired healthcare services.
Unaeghu expressed regret that only few Nigerians were currently enjoying healthcare services under NHIS due largely to ignorance of the benefits of the scheme.
She, however, said that the scheme had put machinery in place to sensitise rural dwellers on how to enroll in the scheme and access health at a minimal cost.
The manager urged Nigerians to explore the avenue to access healthcare at no cost given the fact that health insurance scheme subsidised healthcare services for the sick from the pool of funds by healthy citizens.
According to her, the scheme has been under-utilised by the majority of Nigerians.
“Initially it was Voluntary Social Health Insurance Scheme but now Vital Contributory Social Health Insurance Programme set up to capture all Nigerians.
“This is available in all NHIS offices across the country and has been in existence since the inception of NHIS.
“Most Nigerians go to hospital when their condition has gone so bad and then it is not possible for you to register and access free healthcare.
“We urge all Nigerians to register and enjoy the associated benefits because it is improper and disadvantageous for you to be in a system and fail to enjoy the services accrued,’’ she said. (NAN)