The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved the inclusion of members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
It was to ensure that the corps members have access to good health care services.
Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole stated this at the end of the FEC meeting chaired by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He was with Minister of Agriculture Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Science and Technology Ogbonnaya Onu and Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina.
He said: “The other memorandum has to do with how we will prevent unnecessary death among youth corps members across the country. Council approved the memo that henceforth we will include NYSC members in the National Health Insurance Scheme across the country.
“This will guarantee access to quality care across the country, prevent unnecessary deaths and also ensure our youth corps members receive the highest attainable level of care across the country.”
He disagreed with the claim that the NHIS had failed woefully.
Adewole said: “I would rather use a more positive comment that we are not where we ought to be with respect to the NHIS and that is because it is voluntary. A voluntary scheme anywhere in the world is not likely to succeed as much as we would love to have it.
“So, this scheme for NYSC is not compulsory, its mandatory for all NYSC and government will pay the premium. What we have now with NHIS is that only government employed people and very few in the private sector are enrolled into the scheme. I am sure you know the Senate is conducting a public hearing into how to broaden the scope of the NHIS, making it more effective to serve the generality of Nigerians and that’s our destination.”
He added that the council approved the procurement and distribution of contraceptive commodities and services across the country for the next four years.
Adewole said his ministry presented a report on the state of public health services across the country.
According to him, the ministry had declared the end of the meningitis outbreak in the country.
He said: “We also informed FEC that we have not recorded new cases of Polio in the country in 2017. We have recorded seven new cases of Lassa fever across the country and the cholera outbreak in Kwara State has also fizzled out.”