Stakeholders push for quality services in Nigeria’s health insurance space
Stakeholders in the health sector have emphasised on the need to enhance the quality of service within the healthcare value chain.They also called for the need to rapidly grow the Health Insurance Coverage nationwide and for healthcare practitioners to improve their service delivery to enrollees, while the Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) charge more realistic premiums from their clients.
The charge was made during a breakfast meeting for various Healthcare Providers within the industry, organised by Lifeworth HMO to focus on enhancing quality of healthcare service delivery.
In his welcome address, the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Raymond Osho, noted that the health insurance scheme in Nigeria is at its infancy, however, the journey that has started must be periodically evaluated through discourses on how well to improve healthcare delivery.
According to the Osho, “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.”
Also speaking, the past President of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), Dr. Anthony Omolola charged healthcare practitioners to digitise their practices, as well as improve on their financial acumen.On the part of the HMOs, he emphasised on the need for seamless generation of authorisation codes for providers on behalf of their enrollees in order to ensure speedy care.
While delivering a paper on “Health Insurance: Improving Service Delivery to the Enrollees,” the Associate Director, Health Financing, Health Systems Consult Limited, Dr. Oluwatosin Kolade highlighted the experience of Nigeria’s Health Insurance Industry with what is obtainable in other African countries like Ghana, Rwanda amongst 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’s health insurance cover of about 50 percent and over 90 percent of their populations 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.Concluding his lecture, he highlighted the insignificant budgetary allocation to the health sector in general and the poor regulatory framework of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in particular.