Connect with us

Health

NHIS, key to Universal Health Coverage – HCPAN

Published

on

NHIS, key to Universal Health Coverage – HCPAN

Concerned about the slow progress in expanding care provision under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Healthcare Provider’s Association of Nigerian (HCPAN), has called for a review of the NHIS Act.

The association made this position known at the recent Extra Ordinary Meeting of HCPAN, which held recently in Ikeja, Lagos State.

President of HCPAN, Dr. Umar Sanda said the review of the NHIS Act had become necessary in view of the poor coverage of the NHIS, adding that expanding coverage of enrollees under the scheme would help the country achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Presently, the coverage of the NHIS is below five per cent of the Nigerian populace.

Universal health coverage (UHC) means people receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship.

In spite of the NHIS, attaining UHC in the country has been a challenge. Part of the constraints is that to break even, most providers need at least 5,000 enrollees, yet most get a paltry number of less than 10 while most teaching hospitals that are expected to provide tertiary services get 7,000 to 8,000 enrollees.

However, the inability to evenly distribute enrollees to providers remain one of the major challenges plaguing the scheme.

Based on this development, Sanda consequently charged the three ties of government to review the NHIS Act with a view to addressing various aspects of the Act that were obstacles to attaining UHC in the country.

According to him, the NHIS Act was the only way Nigeria could achieve UHC.

He said, “Healthcare services have been very dull because the state governments that are supposed to key into NHIS have failed to respond and this has affected healthcare provisions generally.”

Sanda stated that the Extra Ordinary General Meeting was an avenue for the stakeholders in HCPAN to come together and find lasting solution to the issues affecting the association. “We are in democracy and in democracy the rule of law is paramount as the law regulating healthcare services is very minimal.

 

“So far the national Assembly has not passed the new NHIS Act. The new Act must make NHIS mandatory. NHIS must be made compulsory for us to move forward.

President of the Association of General Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), Ambassador (Dr.) Iyke Odo, said universal coverage in health insurance connotes a model in which the system makes it possible for all to be enrolled and covered in a health insurance plan.

 

He said, “What this means is that if any Nigerian at that point of coverage is sick, he would no longer think about how he would get money to pay the doctor because he has a card, which is like a gateway, a pass and a key to access healthcare.”

On his part, the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Dr. Ahmed Yakasai, said NHIS was the gateway for Nigeria to achieve UHC.

He said: “There is need for government to review the NHIS Act as this would allow everybody to be enrolled in NHIS.”

“Now, for instance, many of the enrollees go to private hospitals because the Act has not been reviewed.”

“By the time the doctor interfaces with him, all he does is sign the bill and goes away. The doctor passes that bill to the insurance company and they pay him.

“That is going to be the beginning of good life for Nigerians. That is the secret of the good life we hear about abroad in Europe and America.”

Highlighting the importance of good health as a precursor to achieving other things in life, Odo said health remains the greatest wealth.

Consequently, the President of the AGPNPN said Nigeria as a country has all that it takes to achieve UHC.

He listed some of the factors that would make it possible for Nigeria to achieve UHC as the country’s large population and it’s resources, which is “our wealth, if properly managed.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trending

Take advantage of our impressive online traffic; advertise your brands and products on this site. Call

 

For Advert Placement and Enquiries, Call:

Mobile Phone:+234 803 304 2915

 

Online Editor: Michael Abimboye

Mobile Phone: 0813 699 6757

Email: mmakesense@gmail.com

 

Copyright © 2018 NewTelegraph Newspaper.

%d bloggers like this: