The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) says it is planning to extend health insurance to lawyers across the country to reduce out-of-pocket expenditure for the legal practitioners.
Prof. Mohammed Sambo, the Executive Secretary of NHIS, made this known in a statement issued by the Head of Media and Public Relations Division, Mr Emmanuel Ononokpono, on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to statement, legal Practitioners across the country will soon have unqualified access to medical attention going by the planned collaboration between NHIS and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
The statement stated that the plan was the outcome of a courtesy visit by the President of the NBA, Mr Olumide Apata to Sambo.
The professional body and NHIS agreed to work out details that will lead to lawyers receiving healthcare coverage under the Scheme.
Apata expressed the confidence that the partnership between the 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.
“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.
“There is necessity for lawyers to have health insurance due to the stressful nature of their work and I 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,” the statement quoted his as saying.
Speaking against the backdrop of the significance of number as a factor for coverage of groups, he stated that the association had about 100,000 members nationwide which he considered significant to warrant healthcare coverage.
In his response, Sambo underscored the imperatives of working together, adding that partnership with the association held prospects of going beyond enrolment of lawyers to members of the association serving as opinion molders for the scheme.
The health insurance boss, however, expressed optimism that steps taken by the NBA would inspire other professional bodies to consider similar initiative.
He further observed that the e-NHIS platform recently approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) would put the Scheme’s business processes on the cutting edge of technology when it comes on stream.
In addition, he said the scheme was in cooperation with international partners to build capacity of staff of Scheme.
To speed up the process of achieving the stated objectives of the collaboration, Sambo said the Scheme had raised a committee to liaise with the legal body.