Niger govt wants citizens to enroll in health insurance scheme

By Tina George, Minna

The Niger state Commissioner of Health, Dr. Mustapha Jibril has urged residents of the state to enrol in the state Contributory Health Scheme (NiCare).

He stressed that while the scheme would reduce the out-of-pocket medical spending of households and individuals, it would also limit the inflationary rise in the cost of healthcare services and ensure easy access to healthcare services. 

The Commissioner made this call while briefing newsmen in Minna on the state Contributory Health Scheme on Wednesday.

He stated that the state Contributory Health Scheme (NiCare) would protect individuals and households from catastrophic health expenditures.

He also disclosed that over 70 per cent of total health expenditure went to out-of-pocket payment for healthcare.

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“In Nigeria today, it is estimated that out of pocket payment for healthcare accounts for more than 70 per cent of total health expenditure. This is unhealthy for the economy of our nation and it constitutes a major barrier to the attainment of global, national and subnatuonal health objectives including those related to the post-2015 SDG development agenda,” Jibril said.

The Commissioner said the Niger state Contributory Health Scheme was for all residents in the state to ensure that they enjoyed access to quality healthcare services without suffering undue financial hardship. 

“With the establishment of the Niger state health insurance scheme, the demand side financing of healthcare js being complimented with progressive improvement in the supply if healthcare in the state. 

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“The scheme is intended to reduce current difficulties associated with assessing quality healthcare by residents of the state across age, gender or social status,” he explained.

Jibril further disclosed that to ensure the effective implementation of the scheme, the Niger state Contributory Health Agency had been set up. 

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