Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Guild of Medical Doctors Give Kudos to NHIS

THE Guild of Medical Directors (GMD), Lagos State Branch last week in Lagos gave kudos to the Federal Government over the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), rating the success of the programme so far, as high as 70 percent.

At a news conference to announce the 16th annual conference of the association billed to hold October 23 through 24th , 2008, the association urged Nigerians to embrace the scheme.

Speaking at the conference, jointly addressed by the Chairman of the Guild, Dr. Toyin Oredugba, the Vice chairman Dr, Kehinde Wenike Briggs and the Secretary , Dr. Modupe Abiola, the trio announced the theme of the conference to be "Healthcare expectations of Nigerian Society Towards the Vision 2020 and sub theme; Current Trend in Healthcare Delivery"

"We should be fair enough that at least the scheme is on. We give the government kudos and fair enough 70 percent for ensuring that the programme is on."

They explained that the association is focusing exceptionally on NHIS this year to X-ray the teething problems, benefits, coverage amongst others as part of efforts to strengthened the programme.

"We have at the moment invited all stakeholders, the enrollees to tell us how far they have benefitted from the scheme so far. This is because NHIS is sponsored by the Federal Government to ensure that health care is affordable to every Nigerian.

Our aim is also to ensure that we correct what is there to be corrected, add what is there to be added and remove what is there to be removed".

Advising Nigerians not to loose faith in the scheme, the association posited that "the scheme was put together for the ordinary people to enjoy quality care through and it is being experimented that is why the teething problems are there. At the end of the conference we will collate what we have gathered from the stakeholders and enrollees in order to correct the problems so far."

On why they rated the scheme 70 percent; the association reminded Nigerians that there have been many programmes initiated in the country that saw no light of the day and some died a premature death. With our own support, We believe it will continue to work until every Nigeria has the coverage of the scheme."

It also called on government and Nigerians to step up efforts to curb the increasing rate of terminal diseases in the country.

The association urged Nigerians to place emphasis on the prevention of ailments by going for regular medical check ups.

The association further charged the in coming health minister to channel more energy on the Millennium Development Goals with a view to prevent the country from working off track.

It also noted that the absent of a health minister has not affected the running of healthcare in the country in anyway.

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