By Chioma Obinna
LAGOS — Health providers are seeking a constitutional amendment that would compel states and local governments to pay subsidy and bridge existing funding gaps that would ensure and enable more Nigerians access quality healthcare under the National Health insurance Scheme, NHIS.
Making this position known in Lagos, the providers posited that if the scheme would be expanded to provide coverage for more Nigerians in the informal sector, particularly at the grassroots, there must be a subsidy that would sustain the scheme.
Speaking during the 2012 National Conference/Annual General Meeting of HCPAN with the theme; ‘Evaluation of Health Insurance Implementation in Nigeria: Gains, Challenges and Potentials,’ National President, Health Care Providers Association of Nigeria, HCPAN Dr. Adenike Olaniba said enrollees do not pay their premium regularly.
“Enrollees may pay their premium for about six months and thereafter, the premium will not be forthcoming.
He queried how the programme will be maintained if nobody subsidises, if nobody will bridge the gap,” Olaniba asserted.
“If the NHIS is to penetrate the informal sector and go down to the grassroots,” Olaniba reasoned,”there must be subsidy.”