The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has said that 95 per cent of the Nigeria’s 190 million people are not enrolled in any health insurance plan, despite efforts by the Federal Government to improve health care delivery in the country.
Adewole made this known on Thursday during the reunion of the 1998 set of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, where he also disclosed that Nigerians had not keyed into the various health insurance schemes the government had set up.
The minister, represented by the Chairman Medical Advisory Committee of Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Dr Olufemi Fasanmade, while speaking on the theme, ‘Health system’s improvement: Achieving universal health coverage’, noted that government and individuals had roles to play in ensuring that the country achieved universal health coverage.
Even as he called on the private sector to also invest in health care, Adewole said that government ought to be responsible for the provision of funds, while individuals accessed the various insurance schemes.
He said, “For Nigeria to attain the position, it ought to be in global health care delivery. Government must ensure there is adequate funding, appropriation and release of funds for health care to align with the benchmark set by the World Health Organisation.
“The private sector should play their part because government alone cannot provide health care to the people. The Federal Government, ordinarily, should not be saddled with the construction of primary health care centres, it is the duty of local government.”
The minister advised Nigerians to key into the health insurance plan as out-of-pocket payment would not help to deliver quality health care. “Unfortunately, individuals are not getting insured. We have over 95 per cent of Nigerians that are not insured and the government cannot force people to get insured. People need to go and register to be part of either the National Health care Insurance Scheme and other insurance schemes so that when a person is brought to the hospital, doctors can focus on treating them.”
On his part, the Coordinator of the 1998 set, Dr Olubunmi Johnjo, said that over N12m was raised by 70 of the about 200 doctors that graduated from the college in December 1998 and it showed the readiness of the alumni association to collaborate with relevant agencies to improve Nigeria’s health care system.
SOURCE: The Punch