The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) on Thursday urged state governments to set up social health insurance programmes in order to benefit from the Basic Health Care Provision Fund.

Acting Executive Secretary of NHIS, Malam Attahiru Ibrahim made the call at the NHIS forum on “States Social Health Insurance Scheme’’ organised for Commissioners of Health in Owerri.

Ibrahim explained that only states that had adopted the social health insurance programme would benefit from the basic health care provision fund as an incentive.

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“I am urging states to embrace the social health insurance programme because we are hopeful that the National Health Act would be operationalised in 2018,

“However, only states that have commenced the programme will benefit one percent of the 50 per cent consolidated revenue fund coming to NHIS from the federal allocation.

“Commencement of the scheme is however, one of the criteria’s for states to benefit from the basic health care provision fund,’’ he said.

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According to Ibrahim, the World Health Assembly resolution 2005 has urged countries to develop their health financing system to ensure people have access to health services at an affordable cost.

Ibrahim said the forum had created a platform for the commissioners of health and the implementing health insurance agencies to build their capacity in understanding health care financing.

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He said that the platform would also build their capacity in risk pooling for universal health coverage and how to strategically purchase health care services for people of their states.

He urged all states governments to demonstrate commitment to the mandate of the scheme which could be of benefit to the states that establish the health insurance scheme.