Nigeria: National Health Insurance (NHIs) and Matters Arising - allAfrica.com - Healthy People Lifestyle Journal

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Monday, 17 July 2017

Nigeria: National Health Insurance (NHIs) and Matters Arising - allAfrica.com




National Health Insurance Scheme as stated in their website was "established under the National Health Insurance Scheme Act, Cap42, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, is aimed at providing easy access for all Nigerians at an affordable cost through various prepayment systems. NHIS is totally committed to securing universal coverage and access to adequate and affordable healthcare in order to improve in order to improve the health of Nigerians, especially for those participating in the various programmes/products of the scheme".

What captured my attention in the preamble are two points quoted as follows :(" is aimed at providing easy access for all Nigerians at an affordable cost) and "NHIS is totally committed to securing universal coverage and access to adequate and affordable healthcare' 'Do you know that NHIS scheme has the potential to provide health care services to all Nigerians and definitely, a major driving tool for achieving universal health coverage. However, the scheme since introduction 13 years ago covered only 1.5% of the Nigerian population. From conception, the programme was lopsided in favour of federal government staff. Later, some state governments joined albeit dropped along the line. The biggest question in my mind is why such a laudable project failed to achieve its desired goals. To answer the above question, we need to know how the scheme works and then try to trace the root cause of the problem. NHIS is a regulatory body that supervises the operation of health insurance in Nigeria. The key stakeholders are the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and accredited NHIS hospitals. The end -users registered with any NHIS-accredited hospital through their HMOs and pay only 10% of charges for services provided. The HMOs claimed the users' bill from NHIS. The flow chain thus entails government (NHIS)-HMOs-Hospital.

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Nigeria: National Health Insurance (NHIs) and Matters Arising - allAfrica.com