By Chioma Obinna
The long neglect to health financing in the country has been identified as one of the major factors militating against efficient health care delivery services in the country.
Speaking during the 5th national conference /AGM of the Healthcare Providers Association of Nigeria (HCPAN) in Lagos, Chief Medical Director,Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) Dr. Olufemi Olugbile noted that poor attention to health care financing in the country has badly affected the nationâ€™s healthcare system.
Olugbile in his keynote address tagged, â€œQuality Assurance in Health Insurance Scheme: An Agenda for Healthcare providersâ€ declared that Nigeria has not got healthcare financing right.
He said to correct the anomaly, the National Health Insurance Scheme and free health care services is the only way forward.
Stressing the need to improve on healthcare services in the country with a view to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, (MDGs), Olugbile emphasised the need for quality services which he said, would in return bring about customer satisfaction amongst others.
Also speaking, on the sub theme; â€œCommunity Health Insurance Scheme: How Feasible,â€ Executive Director of NHIS, Dr. Waziri Dogo- Muhammad blamed the problem of community Insurance on lack of political commitment on the part of the state and local governments.
According to him, most state governments in the country have refused to buy the scheme.
Dogo- Muhammad noted that unless Nigeria is able to cover the informal sector under the NHIS, the countryâ€™s poor health indices will never change. He encouraged Nigerians to assist the government by paying their taxes so as to get better health care services and other essential services.
The National President of HCPN, Isaac Akpoveta who lauded the appointment of the former health minister Prof. Eyitayo Lambo as NHIS Board Chairman pointed out that while NHIS and HMOs are properly represented on the Board, the HCPN is not.
Akpoveta appealed to the Board to immediately correct the anomaly as the third leg of the tripod on which the scheme stands can only be ignored to the detriment of all stakeholders.
â€œWe use this occasion to appeal to NHIS and the HMOs that the issue of increase capitation and fee for service must be urgently addressed, otherwise the third leg of the tripod (the HCPs) that carried the pot (enrollees) will not only be weakened but the much expected quality in health insurance will be a mirage.â€
We also expect that complains of some of our members, against the scheme should have been addressed by the NHIS by now.â€