By Chioma Obinna
TOTAL review of the operating guidelines of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is desired by the Lagos State branch of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN).
State Chairman of of the association, Mr. Felix Anieh who made the call in a chat with Good Health Weekly also demanded for thorough probe of the Scheme by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
Anieh alleged that even though pharmacists were supposed to be part of the providers they have not been carried along by the primary providers.
He said no pharmacist has receivedÂ prescription on the drug component of the scheme since it started. â€œIf their members have not been receiving prescription, who are those signing and collecting money for the consultation and drug component of the scheme?
â€œWe believe in the NHIS. For instance, I have not received prescription so do many of our members. So if money has been disbursed to doctors who are primary providers, how have they been getting their claims, particularly on the drug component of that programme? It is a big question.â€
Anieh further threatened that if nothing is done urgently to arrest the current situation, their members would be forced to protest publicly against what he described as â€˜injusticeâ€™ against the pharmacists.
We will still believe in NHIS because it is one programme that will solve many health problems of Nigerians but we are saying let us do things the way they should be done. Most clientsÂ complain they were given drugs that cannot work for their illnesses. Cheap drugs that will not solve their problems. It is so bad that some after taking it will still come to the community pharmacist for actual drugs.â€