Enugu – Some stakeholders in the health sector have asked for studies on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to be included in the curriculum of medical students and nurses.
This is contained in a communiqué issued on Wednesday in Enugu at the end of a sensitisation forum organised by the state NHIS office for critical stakeholders in the scheme.
The communiqué, signed by Mrs Rose Anakwe and Mr Paul Uzoma, Chairman and Secretary of the forum respectively, noted that the sustainability of the NHIS scheme depended on such prospective caregivers.
It said including NHIS studies in the medical curriculum would ensure the attainment of universal health coverage.
The communiqué said that the attainment of universal health coverage was critical to the survival of the nation, adding that sustainable structures needed to be made and enforced in the sector.
“The NHIS is an important programme that would decrease the economic burden of diseases on Nigerians.
“It will help attain universal health coverage and improve the health indices of the country.”
The communiqué stated that it was imperative for critical stakeholders to adhere strictly to the operational guidelines and modalities of the scheme in keeping with their responsibilities.
It stated that the actions of some of the health care providers and Health Management Organisations (HMOs) negated the vision of the scheme and were antithetical to its sustenance.
“The organised private sector does not appreciate the goals of the scheme or is deliberately shying away from its responsibilities.
“There are complaints of out-of-stock syndrome at most healthcare facilities and most enrollees are treated shabbily at some health care facilities,” it stated.
The communiqué said that managers of the schemes needed to consider the sacrifices made by the healthcare subscribers and review some of the scheme’s operational modalities.
“The price for refraction, tonometry in the new tariff is high and NHIS identity cards are not readily provided to the enrollees, thereby increasing the cases of fraudulent usage of the scheme,” it stated.
In a related interview, the state NHIS Coordinator, Mrs Ahunna Ochor, charged healthcare providers to step up their functions in the implementation of the scheme or be delisted.
Ochor expressed regret that the healthcare providers in the private sector were not doing enough to sustain the programme.
She warned that managers of the scheme would be compelled to de-list any provider that failed to enroll its nurses and other support staff into the scheme.
“The nurses do not know the operational modalities of the scheme. We will be forced to de-list any provider that fails in this regard because your people need to be enlightened,” the NHIS coordinator said.
She further noted that most of the healthcare providers at the primary level do not know at what point to refer serious health challenges to higher health facilities.
“The NHIS is not fraudulent and it is our duty to preserve it, because if it fails, all stakeholders would have failed,” Ochor said. (NAN)