By Chioma Obinna
Contrary to allegations, Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) and general practice doctors have not been sharing public funds meant for running the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), it has been observed.
HMCAN’s Executive Secretary, Barrister Ngozi Nduka –Uba, who described the allegations, ascribed to the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), as baseless, said “While HMCAN as a major stakeholder in the industry has refrained from joining issues with PSN on the modalities of the NHIS, it is pertinent to note that PSN has persistently isolated itself from the medical team comprising healthcare providers despite overtures by other stakeholders including the NHIS.”
She alleged that pharmacists have chosen the path of a solo player who would rather dictate the terms of engagement to other stakeholders on their own terms irrespective of the impact on the overall success or otherwise of the scheme.
“Unfortunately, their interest represents a very narrow perspective that does not take into account the interest of the patients and many pharmacists who are currently employed in hospitals all over the country including those involved in the supply of drugs and medications to over 7,000 healthcare facilities accredited by the NHIS”.
She further explained that the ultimate beneficiaries of the scheme are the enrollees who due to the obvious benefit are now clamouring for more Nigerians to be covered by health insurance.
“It is also important to note that capitation is paid only for primary care to healthcare facilities which comprise of all healthcare professionals including pharmacists in the respective facilities. Secondary and tertiary care is not capitated as alleged by PSN paid for on a fee-for-service basis.
Statistics available have shown clearly that health insurance has made health services to become available to average Nigerian, many of the who currently enjoy the services have demonstrated an improvement in their healthcare status. Without health insurance Nigerians would continue to patronise patent medicine dealers and quacks.”