Daily Trust (Abuja)

12 February 2013

Nigeria: NHIs Still Nigeria's Best Option to Improved Healthcare

The three tiers of government in the country have been advised to enroll their citizens into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) as a means of improving access to quality care in hospital, Senator Isa Zarewa, chairman of a health organization has said.

Senator Isa Zarewa, chairman of the International United Health Care, a Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO) told Daily Trust that most developed countries who are presently medical tourist centres and raking in millions for their countries are able to attend such status because they have well established health insurances.

Speaking during a training organized by the organization to update its staff on best practices abroad on how to provide better services to their client at the Reiz Hotel, Zarewa said that the HMO was looking at cascading into community health insurances to assist those at the rural areas.

He added that if the NHIS is adequate financed by the government, or even people it would go along way to do away with out of pocket spending, which is gradually collapsing the system

He however warned that the HMO would always put their client's health first and deal with hospitals that fail to compel with the terms of agreement and mis management the needs of the patients.

Earlier the managing director of International United Health Care, Dr Kolawole Owoka said that though the health sector is fragmented, with the rich travelling abroad for medical treatment, with the poor making do with what the country has to provide, NHIS according to him can bridge the wide gap in accessing health care.

He added that the organization is bracing up to assist the government achieve universal coverage which he said would improve the health indices.

He advised that to achieve universal coverage, Nigeria as a developing nation has to borrow a leaf out of great developed countries and look at how they operate their health insurances, with minority group subsiding the bills of the majority.

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