The HealthCare Providers Association of Nigeria, HCPAN, has urged the new administration of Bola Tinubu to show strong political will and transparency with the implementation of the National Health Insurance Authority,
NHIA, even as it posited that in order to achieve Universal Health Coverage, UHC, as well as reverse upsetting health indices there must be collaboration among all stakeholders in the health sector.
Making these calls and more at the HCPAN, Lagos Chapter, Midyear Meeting in Lagos, the state Chairman of HCPAN, Pharm. Biola Paul-Ozieh said the new government must recognised the fact that the healthcare provider is key to the achievement of Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria and must be carried along all the way.
Paul-Ozieh said the Federal government must show commitment to the NHIA act, and whatever it takes, they must go all the way to make sure that this time around, NHIA works as less than 6 per cent of the population is covered, 19 years after it was initiated.
“There must be transparency, the government should keep the public abreast of the happenings and what its intentions are and as well as bring everybody on board.
“Meanwhile, those sitting in the driver’s seat of NHIA at the national level and those working for the state health insurance schemes must be on the same page, so as to be able to convince the populace to enroll, and when they enroll, they must be assured of optimal service delivery.
“The money that an average Nigerian would pay is not meant for any other thing other than healthcare delivery. There must be other means of driving force for the healthcare funding, so we are not going to say since the government has given us a certain percentage of the basic healthcare fund, we are not going to generate more. It is when people see the way the government is working towards achieving the UHC goal that volunteers, and partners, within and outside the country can decide to donate to the course, so these are some of the things I think the government must do.
“The money in NHIA or that of any state scheme is not meant for the government, but for the procurement of health and it must be well administered,” she explained.
Speaking on the theme of the meeting: “Operationalising the NHIA Act 2022: The Actuaries’ Viewpoint”, she regretted that the NHIA had been poorly funded over the years.
She said healthcare providers must be remunerated adequately and promptly based on performance, adding that the two payment mechanisms of capitation for primary care providers, and fee-for-service for secondary caregivers, should be sustained.
Corroborating her views, the National President of HCPAN, Dr. Austin Aipoh, said NHIA Act would make health insurance better in Nigeria and for Nigerians to enjoy the new act, the government would have to show political will and the will is to be able to implement the new act to the fullest.
He said the new government should be able to release the fund when due. “Aside from that, the budgetary allocation for health that we see on paper should be released truly, and once there is budgetary allocation, there should be budgetary implementation, and increase allocation.”
Also to realise UHC objectives, the HCPAN boss said government agencies must put in place a system that encourages effective monitoring of facilities, providers, enrollees, health outcomes and other parameters.