By Asma’u Ahmad
The Guild of Medical Directors (GMD) has appealed to the Federal Government to review the leadership of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the interest of peace and harmony.
The National President of the guild, Dr Femi Babalola, told media men on Wednesday in Abuja that primary health care should be left to the primary health care centres.
He said that government should mandate compulsory enrolment of all eligible Nigerian families into the NHIS. “Accredit and include more private hospitals in the scheme to improve and ensure nationwide coverage. “Engage private hospitals in the enrolment of Nigerians into the scheme.
“There is a dire and long overdue need for yearly monitoring, evaluation and review of guidelines. “Standards, tariff and operations of all stakeholders strides should be reviewed and taken towards Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria,” Babalola said.
He said that the guild was not pleased with the current fractious leadership of the scheme. “The continued and repeated unrest in the scheme is not in the interest of the enrollees (Nigerian citizens), for whom the scheme was set up in the first place.
“We are not happy with the current situation which affects the smooth running of the scheme and thus leads to negative consequences for enrollees of the scheme. “It should be noted that the primary focus of the scheme is to service the health needs of the enrollees and to improve the health indices of the country,” he said.
He noted that the current structure of the scheme involving the NHIS, the Health Management Organisations (HMOs), the service providers (hospitals) and the enrollees, can be significantly improved upon.
He further said there was need to fine-tune the relationship between these organisations in such a way that high quality service would be delivered to the enrollees.
“The GMD is worried about the abysmally low coverage of the scheme in our country. “Other African countries such as Ghana and Kenya have embraced a similar scheme and have enrolled up to 69 per cent of their populations, while here in Nigeria we have enrolled less than two per cent of our population.
“We therefore strongly advocate for the introduction of mandatory enrolment by all eligible families in the country,” he said.