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HMOs urge NASS to revisit, ensure quick passage of NHIS Amendment Bill

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Lekan Ewenla

The Health Management Organisation,(HMOs) under the aegis of Health and Managed Care Association of Nigeria (HMCAN), has urged the National Assembly to revisit and expedite action on the review and the passage of the Health Insurance amendment Bill which has been pending before it since the past eight years.

National Publicity Secretary of HMCAN ),Lekan Ewenla who made the call yesterday in Abuja, said that the law establishing the NHIS is very weak and needs to be strengthened to enable Nigerians access affordable and quality healthcare in the country.

He observed that the association is worried that the Bill which has been at the National Asssembly for over Eight years has not been passed and appealed to the lawmakers to expedite action to ensure that the Bill is passed into law before the current Assembly winds down.

Ewenla lamented that the Nigerian healthcare system not moving at the desired pace adding 13 years after the federal government started NHIS, state governments are expected to introduce the health insurance scheme in their various states adding that the inability of most states to introduce health insurace is a threat to Universal Health Coverage.

He said, “We are worried about the failure of states to introduce the Scheme. This is the only way Nigerians can get affordable healthcare. A lot of Nigerians are on the street, moving like a walking corpse just because they cannot afford healthcare services and this is quite worrisome. The laws setting up the Scheme is weak need to strengthen the law and ensure compliance. The agency is weak and the Operations of the agency should be reviewed in order to have a strong institution”.

Also speaking, the former Chairman of the association, Kola Owoka who observed that the path to universal health coverage is a team work adding that the National Assembly should to fast –track the review of the laws and make health insurance compulsory for all Nigerians.

Special Assistant to the Senate President on Health Matters, Tony Ike Isama said that the Eight Assembly is working to get the Bill passed and transmitted to the President for assent .

He noted that the Senate is also interested in the implementation of the National Health Act to drive a national health system while there is a drive to ensure that the one percent consolidated revenue fund is captured in the 2018 budget.


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