NHIS Crisis: Medical Directors Speak About Grave Consequences
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cannot boast of having 50% of the nation's population on the scheme, even though the government is the highest employer of labour.
This poor enrollment level is has been blamed on some grey areas embed in the scheme's policy.
In July, several top officials of the scheme were suspended by the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole.
One aspect the challenges in the health sector has become obvious is the smooth functioning of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the the Guild of Medical Doctors wants them resolved.
The group is appealing to the Federal Government to intervene, emphasising that the challenges have grave consequences for persons that subscribe to the scheme.
Professor Femi Dokun-Babalola is the President of Guild and he made the appeal in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
“The GMD is not happy with the current situation which tends to affect the smooth running of the scheme and thus leads to negative consequences for enrolees of the scheme.
“It should be noted that the primary focus of the scheme is to service the health needs of the enrolees and to improve the health indices of the country.
“In spite of the challenges engendered by this face-off, hospitals affiliated with the Guild continue to render uninterrupted service to the enrolees, even where payments have been unduly withheld,” he said.
The Guild is also worried about the low coverage of the scheme in Nigeria.
Other African countries such as Ghana and Kenya which had embraced a similar scheme have enrolled up to 69% of their population.
In the midst of the crisis, the president also advocated the introduction of mandatory enrollment of all eligible families in Nigeria.
He said the Guild had no objection to the current structure of the scheme involving the NHIS, Health Management Organisations (HMOs), the service providers (hospitals) and the enrolees.
“This is to ensure the statutory role of each stakeholder,” he said.
The Guild also made a few suggestions.
“There is a need to fine-tune the relationship between these institutions in such a way that high quality service is delivered to the enrolees.
“Primary health care should be left to the Primary health care centres and private hospitals.
“It should be taken away from secondary (general hospitals) and tertiary care providers (teaching hospitals, specialist hospitals and federal medical centres).
“These hospitals are at the moment overwhelmed with cases that can easily be taken care of at the primary care levels,” Dokun-Babalola added.
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