Health: Nigeria launches its first national mobile health insurance program

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The Nigerian subscribers of the mobile telephony can henceforth subscribe to a health insurance directly from their telephone. The National Mobile Health Insurance Program (NMHIP) was officially launched in the country on 19th March 2015.

According to Femi Thomas (photo), the executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Program (NHIS), the NMHIP is a new concept which purpose is to supply the subscribers of mobile networks with a platform of easy access to health care.

The NMHIP will allow the subscribers of the telecom operators who cannot subscribe to health insurance offers available on the market, because too expensive, paying gradually the contribution for their future medical care by buying communication credits which will be converted into money. Bills are so less expensive because supervised by the government that wants to finish the universal health coverage process for all Nigerians.

The national mobile insurance platform will allow the subscribers to register, select the medical institution where they would like to be taken care of, and even choose the payment options from their mobile phone. The NMHIP was launched in experimental phase since July 2014 on the MTN network. Its official launch on 19th March 2015 marks its enlargement to Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat networks to cover all the country.

According to Femi Thomas, the NHIS teams crossed the whole world, even the United States of America to study the Obamacare in order to find a national health insurance project that Nigeria could adopt, but unsuccessfully. The NMHIP is an adaptation of health insurance to the Nigerian environment where the mobile telephony took a big place. « It is the first national health insurance of the kind in the world« , he underlined.

 

Original text by: Agence Ecofin

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