LAGOS—A social health reform activist, Dr. Yemi Johnson has stated that Nigeria has a lot to learn from its neighbouring country Ghana in the area of National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS.
He also said Ghana is not 100 per cent perfect in the health scheme but they made progress in many areas while Nigeria is still lagging behind.
According to him, Nigeria needs to eradicate the issue of cash and carry on health schemes because millions of Nigerians are denied medical treatment because they do not have the cash or too poor to pay.
His words, ‘’Since 1992 when former President Jerry Rawlings transmitted from military to civilian president, Ghana has been able to alternate political power between political parties without bloodshed. That is a feat Nigeria has not been able to achieve and it is not a matter of pride, Nigeria has a lot to learn from our neighbours. I am not suggesting in any way that the Ghanaian example is near perfect, but they are making progress in so many areas that Nigeria is still lagging behind and one of such is the health insurance coverage for Ghanaian citizens’’.
‘’In 2005, our own President Olusegun Obasanjo launched the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS. To me, that is one of the best things the Nigerian government has conceived in decades. While there might be imperfections here and there, the concept is unassailable. It is meant to make healthcare delivery available to every Nigerian no matter his or her status.’’
He stated further: ‘’I think there is so much we can learn from Ghana if we can swallow our pride and borrow a clue from an obviously smaller nation.
“The health insurance scheme in Ghana was conceived by Mr. John Kufuor when he was campaigning for the presidency in 2003. He personally felt there was no point continuing with the regime of cash-and-carry healthcare system being practised in the country at the time.’’