Healthcare Provider’s Association of Nigerian (HCPAN) has charged government at all levels to review the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Act, as this is the only way Nigeria could achieve universal healthcare coverage.
At an extraordinary General Meeting of the Association in Ikeja, Lagos, the National President of HCPAN, Dr. Umar Sanda said healthcare services have been very poor because the state governments that were supposed to key in to NHIS have failed to respond, which has affected healthcare services generally.
He said: “We are in a democracy, where the rule of law is paramount. The law regulating healthcare services is very minimal.
So long the National Assembly does not pass the new NHIS Act, HCPAN cannot move forward.
“NHIS must be made compulsory for us to move forward. However, there is need for government to finance and satisfy HCPAN stakeholders to enable healthcare services move forward. We know that government cannot achieve it alone, but it must provide enabling environment for investors.”
The President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, said NHIS is the gateway for Nigeria to achieve universal healthcare coverage. He said: “There is need for government to review the NHIS Act, as this would allow everybody to enroll in NHIS. For instance, the informal sector will also key in to NHIS healthcare coverage, and things will improve.
“Now, many of the enrollees go to private hospitals because the Act has not been reviewed. I can assure you that by the time the Act is reviewed, every Nigerian would be attending general hospitals without payment.”