Care providers seek solutions to challenges with health
Admitting the problems of healthcare in the country, the Health Care Providers Association of Nigerian (HCPAN), who are bedrock of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), has restated their commitment in assisting to find solutions to issues are universal coverage.
They made the call during the associations’ mid-year meeting with the theme, “Modeling the Nigeria Health Insurance for Nigerians” – which Model?
President HCPAN, Dr Umaru Sanda, said the difficult terrain of health insurance industry, is rapidly undergoing a big transformation and widespread. “HCPAN has already sent recommendations among which are making health insurance mandatory for residents in Nigeria, and representatives of HCPAN on the Board of the National Insurance Commission.”
He continued: “Before Approval by the commission, negotiation for capitation and other payment should be between the healthcare facilities and fund managers. Providers should be involved in formulating benefit packages for different schemes. Healthcare providers shall be required to take a professional indemnity cover from any Insurance company registered by National Insurance Commission and many others.”
Sanda added: “We Healthcare providers are from different health professions. I’m an advocate of strong inter-professional collaboration which I belief will accelerate development of Health Insurance in Nigeria.”
He appealed to the scheme to carry along the providers in implementations, and membership of the Association should be one of the conditions for registration and accreditation of healthcare facilities and also consider the need for capacity training for providers and other stakeholders.
“I must inform you that we providers have many axes to grind with the regulator, NHIS, especially since the beginning of this year 2017. Capitations and fee-for-service are paid irregularly by the fund manager’s HMOs who claimed the fault is from NHIS, that funds to them are released very late. This reduces or even kills morale of providers who still try to give care to enrollees even when he has not been prepaid as required in NHIS operational guidelines. Ultimately this can destroy confidence in the scheme. We noticed stagnation and even declining coverage and instability in the operation of the scheme,” said Sanda.
He stated: “The way forward is dialogue in solving the numerous problems. Litigations in Nigeria are slow and may not be an appealing option. Industrial actions will worsen the plight of enrollees.”
“Although we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with Health Managed Care Association of Nigeria (HMCAN), pertaining to payment mechanism, disciplinary actions, uniform premium and many more. Many HMO’s still want to force down our throat their conditions without our input especially at primary level. As I always say let us be partners and not servant/master relationship.”
The president assured that continuous dialogue would solve major problems, as they are always open to discussion on all the grey areas.