By Chioma Obinna
Experts in the health sector have stressed the need to enhance the quality of service within the healthcare value chain.
Making the call during a breakfast meeting for various Healthcare Providers in the industry, organised by Lifeworth HMO, they pointed out the need for the country to rapidly grow the health insurance coverage nationwide.
They further advised healthcare practitioners to improve their service delivery to enrollees, urging Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) to charge more realistic premiums.
Speaking, Chief Executive Officer of Lifworth HMO, Dr. Raymond Osho, noted that the health insurance scheme in Nigeria is at its infancy.
He, however, said the journey that has started must be periodically evaluated through discourses on how well to improve healthcare delivery.
He said: “Affordable healthcare must deliver on its mandate, which includes accessibility, responsiveness, and quality. This will, in turn, give the enrollees the best of services from the HMO, which is delivered by the healthcare providers. This is the way through which the enrollees can trust the system, as a whole.”
In his presentation, Past President of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), Dr. Anthony Omolola urged healthcare practitioners to digitise their practice, as well as improve on their financial acumen.
He emphasised the need for a seamless generation of authorisation codes for providers on behalf of their enrollees to ensure speedy care.
While delivering a paper entitled: Health Insurance: Improving Service Delivery to the Enrollees, the Associate Director, Health Financing, Health Systems Consult Limited, Dr. Oluwatosin Kolade, compared Nigeria’s health insurance industry with what is obtainable in other African countries like Ghana, and Rwanda among others.
He noted that while Nigeria was the first country to start health insurance among the three countries, Nigeria has only been able to achieve fewer than five percent coverage of its population as compared to Ghana and Rwanda with 50 percent and over 90 percent coverage respectively.
Focusing on the healthcare systems, Kolade noted that the number of medical colleges in the country, estimated at 30, as compared to 300 colleges in India, is abysmally low.