The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has called on staff and students of the University of Ilorin (Unilorin) to embrace the scheme to get affordable healthcare.
Mr AbdulGaniyu Jimoh Onimajesin, the Head, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Zone A Segment, North Central Region, gave the advice on Tuesday while speaking with newsmen at Unilorin.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Zone A Segment of the North-Central Region of the NHIS comprises Kwara, Niger and Kogi states.
Onimajesin urged them to take advantage of the scheme while they were still members of university community, adding that they would no longer enjoy the scheme after leaving the community.
He said that subscribers to NHIS only contributed a little fraction of their bills whenever they needed to get medical attention at a health facility.
The NHIS official decried the fact that students and some staff were yet to take advantage of the scheme.
“Beneficiaries and the eligible members of their family do not pay for medical consultation and tests, but they only pay 10 per cent of the cost of their medications.”
Onimajesin said that health insurance was not a free healthcare service, but a contributory healthcare scheme in which the Federal Government was the only a contributing partner for its employees at the moment.
He said that retired staff of Nigerian Universities could not continue to enjoy health insurance because only a few employers contributed to health insurance at the moment.
The NHIS boss, however, said that retirees could benefit from the scheme under other programmes like the individual and group health insurance schemes to which they had to contribute.
“University staff and other Federal Government employees have an example in the Nigerian military service, the Directorate of State Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Police which have all created programmes for their retirees.
“Certain categories of health needs like Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Tuberculosis are not covered by the NHIS Scheme to prevent duplication of access to subsidised care.
“However, factory injury victims are covered by a separate law just as epidemics and pandemics, family planning, drug abuse, plastic surgery, and aspects of dental and ophthalmological care are not covered in order not to drain the funds in the NHIS pool,” he said.
Onimajesin said that the NHIS was about to conclude the automation of its systems and branding of its drugs, and urged subscribers to direct complaints to the scheme’s offices to ensure improvement on the programme.