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Stakeholders push for quality in health insurance coverage

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By Chioma Obinna

Over 4,500 enrol for Obaseki’s social health insurance scheme in Ovia, Egor, 4 other LGAs

HEALTH experts have stressed the need to enhance the quality of service within the healthcare value chain.

Making the call during a breakfast meeting with  healthcare providers  organised by Lifeworth HMO, they  pointed out the need for Nigeria to rapidly grow the health insurance coverage nationwide.

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The experts urged  practitioners to improve their service delivery to enrollees and that the Health Maintenance Organisations, HMOs,  should charge more realistic premiums from their clients..

The Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Raymond Osho, said although the health insurance scheme in Nigeria is at infancy, it must be periodically evaluated .

“Affordable healthcare must deliver on its mandate, which include 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.”

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 seamless generation of authorisation codes for providers on behalf of  enrollees in order to ensure speedy care.

In a paper entitled:  “Health Insurance: Improving Service Delivery to the Enrollees,” the Associate Director, Health Financing, Health Systems Consult Limited, Dr. Oluwatosin Kolade said Nigeria has  achieved less than five percent coverage  as compared to Ghana and Rwanda’s health insurance cover of about 50 percent and over 90 percent 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, thus making the number of the doctors available to cater for Nigerians to be very limited.

This, he said is compounding the shortage of trained medical doctors, which is also the mass exodus of medical practitioners currently been experienced at an alarming rate.

The insignificant budgetary allocation to the health sector in general and  poor regulatory framework of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, in particular.

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