The Healthcare Providers’ Association of Nigeria (HCPAN), on Wednesday urged both the federal and state governments to show more commitment to health care services provision by increasing health insurance funding and timely delivery of services nationwide.
The National President of the association, Dr Oluwole Sanda, gave the charge to the national and sub-national governments during an ordinary meeting organised by the association with the theme ‘Fusing the Various Interests and Role Plays of Stakeholders to Give Health Insurance Deserved Place in the Nigeria Clime, Paradigm Shift’ in Lagos.
Sanda pointed out that health insurance remained the only solution to the nation’s poor health quality and indices and therefore tasked the governments to make it available, accessible and affordable to Nigerians.
He said: “Health insurance is the only sustainable model for healthcare financing in Nigeria.
Federal and State Governments’ health budgets are not sufficient for Nigerian populace. The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom budgeted 124.7 billion pounds in 2017 and 2018 for healthcare delivery.
“This amount is equivalent to Nigeria’s entire budget for 10 years. The lack of adequate financing has led to some of the problems we face which include: poor remuneration of healthcare providers (Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurse Laboratory Scientists, Health Managers).
“Equally, poor remuneration and working conditions lead to brain drain; we have become a training ground for other countries.”
The health insurance expert also appealed to the National Assembly to make the passage of compulsory health insurance bill a top priority in its legislative functions, adding further that
states legislatures should not be left behind in making health insurance compulsory in setting up the state health insurance law.
Similarly, the Deputy National President of the professional group, Dr. Adeyeye Arigbabuwo, canvassed the need to reposition healthcare providers and health insurance scheme in the country to improve the universal health coverage.
He clarified: “Health insurance scheme is the present and the future of healthcare financing in the country.
“Government and healthcare providers need to know the appropriate pricing of healthcare delivery.
“Those in charge of fund management should always try to get it better and there should be harmonisation among all health professionals. Every health professional has business to do on health insurance.
“We need to explore the possibilities of state government support on health insurance scheme.
Some few states are into health insurance scheme and other state governments can follow their health insurance scheme procedure,” Arigbabuwo added.
Noting that health insurance coverage remains very low in Nigeria, the health care expert advised governments at all levels, healthcare providers and health professionals need to identify the problems militating against health insurance scheme in the country and address them appropriately.
Arigbabuwo pointed out further that “health insurance is all about transparency, which means, there should be trust among healthcare providers.”