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Universal Health Coverage: Experts seek functional health insurance Scheme

…As St Nicholas marks 50th anniversary

By Chioma Obinna

Health professionals have faulted the implementation of National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, in Nigeria, saying, only a functional NHIS will guarantee Universal Health Coverage for all Nigerians.

They say the country may not attain the Sustainable Development Goal, SDGs, target of achieving Universal Health Coverage, UHC, by 2030, even as medical experts across the world gather  to mark this year’s “August Event” of Chief Dr. Moses Adekoya Majekodunmi Foundation/ Celebration of St. Nicholas Hospital’s 50th anniversary to deliberate and proffer solutions to UHC as well as the role of functional NHIS.

In an address, the Clinical Director, St Nicholas Hospital, Dr Ebun Bamgboye, told Healthy Living that the issue of NHIS and the UHC was pioneered by the late Majekodunmi in the 1960’s as the then Minister for Health, which was presented as a Bill to the House of Representative but never came to fruition.

Bamgboye said: “We have a National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, conceived by our founder decades ago and if that NHIS is functional as it should be, it will certainly help improve the quality of healthcare we give as a country.

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“Our hope is that at the end of the day government will actually improve on the service that the NHIS provides and also help improve on the quality of care that we give our citizenry,” he stressed.

Bamgboye who noted that the situation informed the theme of the bi-annual event: “Universal Health Coverage and The Role of a Functional National Health Insurance Scheme”, said seasoned medical experts from home and abroad will discuss the state of Nigeria’s healthcare system and foster an accessible and functional National Health Insurance Scheme.

To date, St Nicholas Hospital, has performed 300 kidney transplants among other achievements.

On his part, the Chairman, M.A.M Foundation, Mr. Olufemi  Majekodunmi said: “We are in a society where basic healthcare and education is luxury. The event will provide an avenue where issues on UHC will be laid bare and answers, emerge for a greater Nigeria.”

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