The forum of CEOs of State Social Health Insurance Agencies (SSHIA) has underscored the pivotal role of increased enrollment in SSHIA programmes.
Chairman of the CEOs Forum of SSHIA, Dr. Simeon Onyemaechi conveyed this crucial message during the forum’s first-quarter review meeting in 2024 held in Abuja on Friday.
Recognising the urgency of addressing healthcare complexities, Onyemaechi emphasised the need to expand coverage and reduce out-of-pocket expenses, particularly for underserved communities. He called on Nigerians to seize the opportunity for a healthier and more prosperous future by enrolling in state social health insurance schemes.
In highlighting the benefits of health insurance, especially in preventive care, Onyemaechi stressed its role in reducing disease burdens and improving overall health outcomes. He underscored that affordable healthcare is a fundamental right and encouraged Nigerians to safeguard their health and financial well-being through enrollment in these schemes.
The chairman further emphasised the necessity for streamlined enrollment processes and enhanced outreach efforts to reach marginalised populations across the country. He proposed the use of mobile registration units and community-based outreach programmes to ensure access to information and enrollment assistance, even in remote areas.
“In addition to financial protection, state social health insurance schemes offer coverage for essential medical services, preventive care and emergency treatment. By pooling resources and spreading risks, these programmes have the potential to significantly improve healthcare access and outcomes nationwide,” he explained.
However, challenges such as inadequate funding and administrative bottlenecks persist. Onyemaechi stressed the importance of sustained commitment from state governments, public-private partnerships and ongoing community engagement to overcome these obstacles.
As Nigeria strives for universal health coverage, the success of state social health insurance schemes becomes pivotal in shaping the country’s healthcare landscape. Onyemaechi urged concerted efforts and collective action to secure a healthier, more resilient future for all Nigerians and their families.
Embracing state social health insurance schemes is not just a matter of individual health but a collective endeavor to uplift the nation’s health standards. Nigerians are called upon to participate actively in these programmes, contributing to a future where healthcare is accessible, affordable and of high quality for everyone.