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ACPN faults ‘Health Insurance Under One Roof’ concept


* Endorses Ondo’s Cannabis project, urges stakeholders to explore beneficial utilisation of plant in Nigeria

Pharmacists under the aegis of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) have frowned at and rejected the concept of “Health Insurance Under One Roof” unveiled by the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Mohammed Sambo.

National Chairman, ACPN, Dr. Samuel Oluwaoromipin Adekola, and the National Secretary, Abosede Idowu, at the end of the two-day working visit of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Association to Ondo State Government said the body believes this is another way the scheme is planning put all providers in the pocket of one preferred provider and ultimately denying enrolees of quality services.

They said the concept runs contrary to global best practice that separates quality health care services delivery across the different professionals that make up the healthcare team.

They said the ACPN resolved in line with the mandate of its Annual General Meeting (AGM) to challenge in Court all unlawful policy directions of NHIS.

The ACPN in a communiqué jointly signed by Adekola and Idowu, however, commended Ondo State Government for the passage and signing into law of the bill to establish the Ondo State Contributory Health Commission.

The ACPN noted with satisfaction the adoption of the globally recognized payment mechanisms and the rejection of the obnoxious global capitation mode embraced by the NHIS, which has stifled its coverage potentials such that the six per cent coverage at inception in 2006 has now dipped to under two per cent (1.72 per cent) in the last three years.

The ACPN, however, welcomed the proposed “Bill for an ACT to Repeal the National Health Insurance Scheme Act CAP N42, LFN 2004 and Enact the National Health Insurance Commission Bill, 2019, but with a caveat that the obnoxious “Global Capitation” payment mechanism that created so much disharmony among providers and made the current NHIS scheme fail should be made a prohibition under the new Bill.

Also, the community pharmacists under the aegis of the NEC of ACPN critically appraised previous statements of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) on the vital roles of pharmacists in the medicinal use and application of cannabis as well as its derivatives.

They urged all relevant stakeholders to catalyse advocacy and rules of engagement in exploring the beneficial utilisation of cannabis in Nigeria.

The ACPN said that Nigeria must remain relevant in the comity of nations adopting the recommendation of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependency following appropriate reviews and rescheduling of cannabis as well as its derivatives to the commission on Narcotic drugs.

The ACPN admonished the relevant regulatory agencies of the Federal Government to brace up to the realities of these developments by stepping up routine monitoring and control procedures in pharmaceutical premises as well as in handling medicines and in particular controlled drugs in their entirety.

The ACPN expressed its willingness to be partners in the cannabis project because of its potential health; the appropriate arm of Government approves industrial and economic benefit once a legal framework for the controlled cultivation of cannabis.

The community pharmacists promised to champion the course and join in the advocacy for the Cannabis project, through the design of a legal framework that emphasizes the potential health, industrial and economic benefits of controlled state cultivation of cannabis to the Nigerian nation.

They applauded Mr. Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, for the creation of the new Department of Supply Chain Management and Investments (DSCMI) in the Ondo State Ministry of Health and encouraged the State to explore the probability of making the field of SCMI evolve into a full-fledged parastatal in order for the State to reap maximum benefits from its various potentials.

The community pharmacists called on Akeredolu to lead by example in the comity of State Governors in Nigeria by establishing the newly recommended Department of Herbal Medicines in the Ondo State Ministry of Health without delay.

They appealed to Mr. Governor to urgently redress the chronic debt burden of Ondo State Government hospitals to the Pharmaceutical Industry since the era of the immediate past administration in the State, a situation that has put many of the Pharmaceutical companies out of business.

The ACPN affirmed its commitments in brokering a collaborative partnership between the Nigeria Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) Abuja and the Ondo State government for exploration, development, and exploitation of some economically viable herbal medicinal plants indigenous to the State.

Governor Akeredolu affirmed commitment of his administration to the readiness to work with ACPN in order to actualise the lofty proposal presented by NIPRD on pineapple, coconut, watermelon, bitter apple as well as the Cannabis project.

Also, the NEC approved the ACPN 40th Anniversary Celebration National Conference coming up in the year 2021 ‘’Hosting Right’’ to Ogun State while the 41st National Conference will be hosted by Imo State.

The ACPN approved the theme “Optimizing Primary Healthcare Delivery in Nigeria: Community Pharmacists’ Untapped Potentials” for the ACPN 39th National Scientific Conference tagged “Unity 2020” scheduled to hold at Abuja, from 6th – 11th July 2020.

The ACPN registered its displeasure with the increase in Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) dues for the year 2020 registration as it affects routine premises re-inspection fee, which was not part of the approval given by the AGM in Kaduna PSN Conference of 2019.

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