The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is partnering the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to provide health insurance coverage for about 100,000 legal practitioners across the country.
This was the outcome of a courtesy visit led by the NBA President, Mr. Olumide Akpata on the executive secretary NHIS, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, at the Scheme’s headquarters in Abuja.
Head, Media & Public Relations Division, NHIS, Emmanuel Ononokpono who disclosed this in a statement, noted that the NBA and the NHIS during a courtesy visit led by the NBA President, Mr. Olumide Akpata on the executive secretary NHIS, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, agreed to work out details that will lead to lawyers receiving healthcare coverage under the Scheme.
The NBA President expressed confidence that the partnership between both organisations was bound to yield better quality of life for members of the association, noting that health insurance remained the best option for avoiding paying out-of-pocket for healthcare.
He stated that though the NBA already had life insurance policy whereby relations received specified sum of money at the death of members, there was the need for health insurance, to ensure good quality of life for members of the association.
Recalling a personal experience of the benefit of health insurance when he was in need of medical attention, Apata emphasised the necessity for lawyers to have health insurance due to the stressful nature of their work, adding that he had made health insurance a campaign promise.
If I did not have medical insurance, I would have paid so much for my healthcare when I was in dire need,” he stated. Speaking against the backdrop of the significance of number as a factor for coverage of groups, he stated that the association has about 100,000 members nationwide, which he considered significant to warrant healthcare coverage.
The Executive Secretary of the NHIS in his response said that partnership with the association held prospects of going beyond enrolment of lawyers to members of the association serving as opinion moulders for the scheme.
Sambo noted that the e-NHIS platform recently approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) will put the Scheme’s business processes on the cutting edge of technology when it comes on stream, adding that the scheme was in cooperation with international partners to build capacity of staff of Scheme.
He expressed optimism that steps taken by the NBA will inspire other professional bodies to consider similar initiative, adding that to speed up the process of achieving the stated objectives of the collaboration, NHIS has set up a committee to liaise with the legal body.