The federal government has launched a new health insurance scheme for Nigerians called Group Individual and Family Social Health Insurance Programme, GIFSHIP
GIFSHIP, according to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, was a landmark achievement that will reshape the trajectory of healthcare financing in Nigeria, Vanguard reports.
The minister, who spoke at the launch of the program in Abuja, Thursday, explained that it was the ministry’s omnibus enrolment platform within the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to backup health care cover for Nigerians, especially those not currently captured under any form of health insurance by an employer.
To this end, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said “I, therefore, invite members of the polity, philanthropists, Nigerians in the diaspora, among others, to take advantage of this fantastic option to provide healthcare coverage for their families, communities, clans and enroll members of their constituencies, loved ones and relations, thereby giving them financial access to comprehensive quality healthcare at the point of need.”
Ehanire, who described the scheme known simply as “GIFSHIP”, as a product of the lessons learned and the experience gained from implementing a previous program, the Vital Contributors Social Health Insurance Programme (VCSHIP), “The program we are gathered to present today is the Group Individual and Family Social Health Insurance Programme, known simply as “GIFSHIP”, a product of the lessons learned and the experience gained from implementing a previous program, the Vital Contributors Social Health Insurance Programme (VCSHIP),” he explained.
According to him, “This new program addresses the challenges and barriers encountered during implementation of the VCSHIP, both by beneficiaries and operators.” “GIFSHIP eliminates known difficulties as it creates additional value by expanding and upgrading VCSHIP for better reach, service quality and user experience,” he said, noting that:
“Those who have closely followed the story of NHIS, will not fail to note that this is the benefit of the enabling environment for productive work, accruing from the peace and harmony that now reign there. ”
Noting that “NHIS has come of age and is rising up to the challenge of supporting the President’s Universal Health Coverage agenda with a transformative Reform Agenda.
The minister further said, “Credit goes to the management of NHIS, under it’s new Chief Executive, Prof. Sambo, who is stewarding this key agency with remarkable dedication, to fulfill its mandate, which essentially is to provide financial access to quality healthcare for all Nigerians, in addition to providing regulatory governance for the health insurance sub-sector. ”
According to him, “The programme we are presenting here today is the outcome of wide-ranging and far-reaching reforms within the NHIS to significantly increase the fiscal space for healthcare services.”
“Worthy of note is the recent approval by the Federal Executive Council, of the e-NHIS Project, a robust ICT infrastructure to be developed and deployed to facilitate enrolee verification, access to care, data collection, and management. It will include analytics, which will feed into a disease map that will be of great benefit in the management of public health across the nation,” he said.
“This comprehensive ICT profile will be deployed to facilitate the implementation of GIFSHIP, among other activities of NHIS, and give subscribers easier access to service and more value for money that will support their health-seeking endeavors.
“A major objective of GIFSHIP is to rapidly expand the scope of healthcare coverage in our urgent quest to attain Universal Health Coverage, for which we cannot afford to leave anyone behind. “GIFSHIP offers citizens an opportunity to participate and benefit from health insurance.
“There is an opportunity for affordable individual enrolment, enrolment of a family unit or a group of people. “Any of the enrolments can also be sponsored by well-meaning individuals, Trusts, or organizations. ” Explaining that: “The larger the pool of enrolees, the stronger the Insurance base will be”, the minister said:
“The Basic healthcare provision fund will be dedicated to the poor and vulnerable as captured in our social register.”
“The data, financial and claims management will be assured with the secured electronic platform set up in collaboration with NIGCOMSAT and approved by the Federal Executive Council, that will issue each enrolee a personal e-card that allows him to access medical treatment anywhere in the country, while fully assuring privacy and data protection. There are options for basic cover and coverage upgrades,” he said.
While thanking those at the occasion for making time to share “this pivotal moment”, he charged them to “be advocates of GIFSHIP, and help spread the word that FMOH now has an omnibus enrolment platform within NHIS to backup health care cover for Nigerians.
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