Cancer Support: NHIS Boss Advocates Innovative Healthcare
The Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Professor Mohammed Nasir Sambo says innovative healthcare financing will open up resources for effective support for patients with capital-intensive conditions, such as cancer.
He made this assertion while receiving the First Lady of Kebbi State, Dr. Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu, who was on a working visit to the head office of NHIS in Abuja.
Sambo, who expressed concern about the high prevalence of cancer, noted that NHIS will continue to explore ways of working with public-spirited organisations and individuals to increase support to cancer patients.
He expressed delight that the Scheme seized the opportunity of the review of its operational guidelines in 2012 to remove cancer from the exclusion list of its benefit package.
Consequently, he said, some levels of cancer surgeries and chemotherapy are now covered under the Scheme.
He however called on governmental and non-governmental organisations involved in creating awareness about cancer and building support for cancer patients to intensify advocacies to the appropriate authorities and institutions, for the institutionalisation of innovative healthcare financing, such as special taxes on smoking and telecommunication, with proceeds dedicated to funding healthcare for the vulnerable, as well as cancer patients.
The NHIS boss commended Dr. Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu, who is also the founder of Medicaid Cancer Foundation, for the enormous work she has done selflessly and tirelessly over many years to advance the human course, by pushing so hard to help in taming the scourge of cancer.
He also expressed the commitment of NIHS to work with the First Lady and her Foundation now and in the future, to ensure that cancer does not subdue humanity in our environment.
Speaking at the occasion, the Kebbi State First Lady and Founder of Medicaid Cancer Foundation, Dr. Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu requested the support of NHIS in the various activities of the Foundation in the areas of creating awareness, cancer screening, support for victims and advocacy.
She expressed regret that most patients of cancer do not have the economic capacity to help themselves, which is the challenge we must all accept and rise up to confront, noting that together we can do much more.
Dr. Shinkafi-Bagudu, a paediatric consultant, is a loud voice in the fight against cancer and in a child’s right champion, whose advocacy for women, children and the youth is well known in the areas of health, education and skills acquisition.