Paul Obi in Abuja
Confronted with the challenges of low speed, accuracy, integrity and safety of its data base, which are fundamental to effective registration and administration components of its operations, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NigCOMSAT) are to partner in order to enthrone efficient database and registration process in the health insurance scheme.
This move was made known when the NHIS acting Executive Secretary Mr. ‘Femi Akingbade, led a high-powered technical delegation to the Director-General of NigCOMSAT, Ms. Abimbola Alale.
Akingbade, who described communication as crucial to the operations of NHIS, expressed the commitment of the Scheme to take advantage of every opportunity in the country to make things easy in that critical area of its operations.
Referring to the nationwide spread of the services of the scheme as its beneficiaries are found everywhere, the NHIS boss stressed the “need for NHIS to be able to communicate with its various stakeholders real time around the clock.
Akingbade stated that “the agency requires to monitor and receive feedback from beneficiaries and service providers under its watch to be able to discharge creditably, its regulatory roles in the industry.
With views guided by his own vast professional exposure in ICT, he said NigCOMSAT was well positioned to support the Scheme with services to meet its needs in these significant areas of its operations, thus the decision to approach the agency for partnership.
The NHIS reiterated the commitment of the Buhari administration to scale up health insurance, spearheaded by Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole, a principal part of which is the revitalisation of 10,000 Primary Healthcare Centres across the country.
These facilities, he said, “are expected to enjoy physical face lift, provision of human resource and adequate supply of medical commodities under the agenda.
“Arising from this plan is a need for effective satellite-based mapping of the PHCs in the country, to ensure efficiency in the management of the process,” he stated.
Akingbade identified this area as one in which the support and services of NigCOMSAT will invariably be required.
Welcoming the NHIS team, Alale highlighted health as a social service every government has a responsibility to provide, describing NHIS as the tool of the Nigerian government for the purpose of ensuring that all citizens have access to healthcare.
She expressed delight to note that the Scheme is pressing forward in that task, as it continues to take Nigeria towards the global objective of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Alale assured the Scheme that “NigCOMSAT has on its shelves already, some designs and programmes that are likely to specifically meet the communication, monitoring and mapping requirements of NHIS, while customisation of facilities can be carried out for the Scheme where necessary.”
Subsequently, a joint technical team of both agencies was set up to determine the technical details of the collaboration.