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NHIS moves to address problem of out-of-stock drugs in accredited health facilities

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
16 May 2022   |   3:02 am
National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is to introduce branded medication to address the perennial problem of out-of-stock drugs in accredited health facilities.

Prof. Mohammed Sambo is the Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)

National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is to introduce branded medication to address the perennial problem of out-of-stock drugs in accredited health facilities.

Former member of the NHIS Governing Council and Chief Executive Officer of Ultimate Health Management Services, Lekan Ewenla, disclosed this at the 11th Annual General Meeting of the organisation in Abuja.

According to him, the current bill being used to drive the health insurance schemes in the country does not recognise private health insurance, which is the reason it is having challenges.

He said pioneer Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) started private health insurance in anticipation of the passage of the bill and set tariffs in collaboration with healthcare providers.

He said: “They commenced the driving of private health insurance, focusing on the organised private sector. That private scheme gave them access to a reasonable volume of inflow. When the bill was eventually passed, it focused on the formal sector. And by standard, those private schemes were to be polled into the social scheme portal, considering that health insurance cannot survive on fragmented pools.

“The premium is paid by the private companies for health insurance was basically the conversion of medical allowance of individual staff to premium. What you see playing out in the Federal Government is that same 10 per cent of the individual basic salary of federal civil servants that are being paid as medical allowance by the Federal Government.”

He added: “Healthcare providers agitating for upward review of premium for the private health insurance scheme but asking for upward review of premium for private health insurance is like asking private companies to increase the salaries of their staff because that is the only way the premium can increase.”

“The inflation being experienced in the country is not peculiar to the health care sector; it cuts across all strata of the society. We are also going through the challenge, and the way out is to encourage all the HMOs driving the private health insurance programme to key into the larger poll of the NHIS, knowing fully well that health insurance cannot survive on a fragmented pool.”