By King Richard
The Nigerian government has promised to implement the report of the Ministerial Committee for the Provision of NHIS ( National Health Insurance Scheme ) to Retirees and Elderly.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, made the disclosure at the second presentation of the Ministerial Committee Report on the Provision of Health Insurance for Retirees and The Elderly in Nigeria.
The Minister said providing Health Care for the Elderly is part of the focus of the present Federal Government administration under President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that his ministry has the mandate to ensure its realization.
Mr Ehanire enumerated how his ministry has done a lot to provide health care for many including the elderly.
”I am glad to tell you that as a country, Nigeria is a signatory to several global initiatives and committed to the health and development of its citizens.
As a Ministry, we have the mandate to ensure healthy lives and well-being for all Nigerians. The inclusion of elderly in NHIS is in accordance with our vision to attain Universal Health Coverage that is “Leaving No One Behind”.
Other interventions by Federal Ministry of Health to ensure inclusion of senior citizens are:
The creation of an Elderly branch in GASHE Division of Family Health Department in 2008 to formulate Policy, guidelines and Action Plans for the health care and well-being of the older persons.
In 2016, the Ministry created a project called Health Program for Improved Quality Care (HEPIQ-C). Both the Elderly care program and HEPIQ-C Project have worked assiduously to ensure that good health and well-being of the elderly are taken care of.
In 2018, the FMOH embarked on the establishment of six (6) Geriatric centers; one in each of the 6-geo-political zones. The project is on course.
Once again, please note that this report is apt and be rest assured that the recommendations will be carefully studied and implemented. “Government places a lot of premium on output of your committee and the Ministry is extremely grateful to you all,” Ehanire said.
The Chairman of The Ministerial Committee For The Provision of NHIS to Retirees and Elderly, Linus Awute, in his presentation said everyone is waiting to become an elder hence the need for concerted effort to ensure that the recommendation of the committee is properly studied and implemented adding that Universal Health Coverage is achievable even for the elderly in Nigeria.