Health Care Providers Association of Nigeria (HCPAN) has decried low uptake of wellness cover in Nigeria 19 years into the establishment of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and one year after the plan was made mandatory by virtue of existence of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in 2022.
Chairman, Lagos chapter of the association, Mrs. Biola Paul-Ozieh, at the mid-year meeting of the body yesterday, in Lagos, said only six per cent of Nigerians have enrolled with the NHIA.
To improve access and achieve the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) target, she urged government at all levels to prioritise funding of healthcare.
Paul-Ozieh regretted that the NHIA had been poorly funded over the years.
The pharmacist said healthcare providers must be remunerated adequately and promptly based on performance, adding that the two payment mechanisms of capitation for primary care providers, and fee-for-service for secondary caregivers, should be sustained.
She charged government on political will to make the NHIA perform creditably.
Paul-Ozieh said achieving the UHC goal was possible if health cover and financing options are well coordinated.
Her words: “In conclusion, we would like to implore our government agencies here today that in order to achieve UHC in Nigeria and reverse those upsetting health indices, there is need for collaboration among all stakeholders, strong political will and transparency on the part of government and the agencies saddled with implementation of the health insurance at all levels, and recognition of the fact that healthcare providers are key to the achievement of UHC in Nigeria, and as such, must be carried along.”
National President of HCPAN, Dr. Austin Aipoh, while re-echoing that only six per cent of the population had been captured, he added: “If this new budget is well funded by government, it would make a huge impact of improving medical services in the country.”
To realise UHC objectives, the HCPAN boss said government agencies must put in place a system that encourages effective monitoring of facilities, providers, enrollees, health outcomes and other parameters.Follow us on social media