The Federal Government has promised to expand health insurance coverage to reach 50 million Nigerians in the next four years.
Vice President Kashim Shettima disclosed this on Monday at the 40th Anniversary of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) in Borno State.
Shettima said one of the primary objectives of Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu government was achieving universal health coverage by ensuring all Nigerians access healthcare in an equitable manner.
Represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Health, Dr Salma Anas Kolo, the Vice President assured that Nigerians will have access to quality healthcare services through a strengthened primary and secondary health facilities.
Shettima said, “We will proactively expand insurance coverage, the government commits to reach at least minimum of 50 million Nigerians by 2027.”
He highlighted priorities of President Tinubu’s health agenda to include health governance, leadership and institutional reforms, health financing and reduce out-of-pocket spending, integrated healthcare delivery, ensure local manufacturing of health products, expand investment on medical education, reverse brain drain and medical tourism.
Shettima also announced that the Federal Government has approved payment of allowances for resident doctors.
For his part, Borno State governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, congratulated the Teaching Hospital for the great milestone it achieved in the health sector.
He urged the tertiary hospital to embrace smart medicine through the use of artificial intelligence, technology and data science to upgrade its services.
Chief Medical Director, University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Professor Ahmed Ahidjo, said in the last 40 years, the hospital has provided services to over 33 million people, thereby increasing level of patronage by one 150 per cent.
Former Minster of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, called on the management of the hospital to focus on training of medical professionals in the areas of cancer, kidney and heart to take care of special needs of people in the region and beyond.