To improve the quality and expertise of healthcare delivery across the country, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in collaboration with Results for Development (R4D) and Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) has commenced a three-day Executive leadership development programme (E-NLDP) for all NHIA executives and coordinators.
The leadership training programme—holding in Lagos—is part of the efforts of the Federal Government to bridge the capacity and competence gap in the Health Insurance Ecosystem.
The event which kicked off on Monday, June 6, is an in-depth training of the General Managers, State Coordinators of the NHIA and the CEOs of State Social Health Insurance Agencies.
The training was opened by addresses from the Representative of the Director General of the NHIA, Mr. Femi Akingbade and the Country Director of R4D, Dr. Hope Uweja.
Welcoming the trainees, both men spoke on the importance of capacity building and how it can improve our healthcare delivery.
They commended the EDC for its exceptional training capabilities and urged all participants to make the most of it.
Speaking about the initiative, the DG’s representative of the NHIA, Mr Femi Akingbade spoke on how crucial health insurance is to the general health and well-being of the nation. He said that the training will—in the long run—yield unquantifiable gains for Nigerians. He further counseled all participants on safety during their stay for the 3-day event and subsequent trainings in Nigeria.
“In Nigeria, over 70 percent of healthcare is paid for through out-of-pocket expenditure. What this means is that, if a person needs healthcare and they cannot afford to pay at the point when they need it, they will not be able to access it. This is the danger we are in, and therefore the issue of health financing and health insurance is very crucial today,” he said.
Also speaking, the Country Director of R4D, Dr Hope Uweja encouraged participants to give their all to the training, stressing that learning to create the right financial mechanisms for health insurance will directly impact many Nigerians. He also thanked the DG of NHIA, Prof. M.N. Sambo, for his visionary leadership, stating that the NHIA framework to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) is unparalleled.
He said: “The need for health insurance in Nigeria is well accepted, however acceptance is not enough. It is important that we have the right financing mechanisms to enable our health insurance schemes to functions properly for all Nigerians. Financial barriers to accessing healthcare must be effectively tackled and that is one of the reasons for the leadership development programme.
“I also wish to commend the NHIA and its leadership because its drive for improving our healthcare sector is commendable. I must tell you that for me, NHIA is one of the few government bodies that seeks to take care of you, from cradle to grave. I also commend the EDC, which is one of the strongest training institutions in Nigeria, for taking up this task with us.”
Speaking to newsmen, the Deputy Director of the EDC Dr. Nneka Okekearu said that participants will be equipped with tools that have achieved success in the private sector, so that they can modify and use them for the larger public healthcare facilities. She said the training sessions will covers topics like critical thinking, Performance Management, Emotional Intelligence, Change Management, Succession Planning, and Coaching and Mentorship for Institutions.
This Executive NHIA Leadership Development Program (E-NLDP) will provide the background for the Executive Managers in NHIA to provide in-depth coaching and mentoring to the middle to senior managers in the ecosystem.