Sign Health Insurance Bill Into Law, Jonathan Advised

President Goodluck Jonathan has been urged to sign into law, the National Health Insurance Scheme Bill aimed at providing easy access to health care delivery system to all Nigerians at an affordable cost.

Doctor Segun Ogundimu, managing director, Clearline International Limited, a foremost health maintenance organisation, made this call during a press conference to unveil the company’s Retail Health Insurance Scheme (RHIS), for Nigerians.

According to him, the bill has been long overdue and if signed into law, will ensure that every Nigerian has a health insurance card that will guarantee access to quality health anywhere in the country, irrespective of tribe, age, sex or religion.

The former commissioner for Health in Lagos State, said that the health insurance sheme deserves more support and attention from government than the pension fund which is currently enjoying its support.

He added that the RHIS, which is the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, is a most reliable method of healthcare financing in developing and poor economies like Nigeria.

“Clearline-care is aimed at democratising healthcare for Nigerians. It is indeed a mass appeal to change the orientation of Nigerians that they can have access to the best medical attention. It is all out to tell Nigerians that quality medical care is a right. It seeks to enlighten them that to live well and have access to quality medical care is not beyond their reach.

“The scheme is intended to enlist more Nigerians into the NHIS designed to involve the low and middle income earners into the scheme and also educating them that no matter their socio-economic status, they can have qualitative medical care,” he assured.

He said that RHIS is a health financing method that extends qualitative medical care to all segments of the society with universal coverage, adding that it also guarantees more than basic needs of the people and opportunity to get more depending on their extra needs and capabilities.

“The ease of premium payment in RHIS is another flavour worth mentioning and a big attraction for participation by the public at large. At N30, N50, N100 and N200 per day per head, Nigerians cannot find a better deal from stand point of affordability.

“For ease of participation, Clearline has partnered with four major banks, Union, Skye, Wema and First Bank and microfinance banks with their branches nationwide. This will enable members of the public to walk into any of their branches to pick and fill our user-friendly enrolment form and pay on-line into our account domiciled in the banks.

“To further reduce the stress of frequent visits to make payments in the banks, we have introduced our customised clearline recharge cards that are available in denominations of N350, N700 and N1,500 respectively. Its use will be the first in history of healthcare delivery, not only in Nigeria, but in the whole world, worthy of emulation and improved upon by other developing countries,” he said.

—Jamiu Yisa