By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
A Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), ONE Campaign, has called for the accreditation of private health providers in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to increase beneficiary choice.
Senior Health Specialist, World Bank, Dr Olumide Okunola, made this known at the Public Launch of State of Primary Healthcare Delivery in Nigeria Report on Tuesday in Abuja.
The report which was carried out by ONE Campaign in collaboration with other organisations such as the World Bank, Nigeria Health Watch, National Advocates for Health, and African Health Budget Network among others.
The report was released yesterday at the stakeholder meeting, this would provide an in-depth and systemic review of the implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).
The Report was also in compliance with states National Health Act and National Health Policy, and a ranking of health system performance revealed the state of primary healthcare delivery across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The research also included recommendations on how state governments can strengthen their fragile health systems and enhancing the existing implementation of the BHCPF.
Okunola further explained that, among the findings of the report private healthcare providers were not accredited for NHIS.
He said, this does not give the beneficiaries opportunities for quality choice in healthcare delivery.
‘’The NHIS has done one thing in this last two years, it has given automatic accreditation to all public PHCs. But there is also a down side to that, as of today not a single private provider is accredited under the PHPF.
“Another quick point to note is that on the NHIS gateway monies are allocated based on an identified individual or enrollee, there is as of today, no commonly agreed framework for identification and enrollment of the poor and venerable.
“Even though Nigeria has what is gradually emerging as the best national social registry in the world, that national so registry today has 50 or so million Nigerians identified and enrolled.
Dr Chijioke Kaduru, Member, Supervisory Board, Corona Management Systems one of the producers of the report said it helped in accessing the implementation of the basic health provision fund.
“What this report has done is to help us access how well we are implementing the basic healthcare provision fund, and how that fund is helping to translate to good for the people.
On his part, Edwin Ikhuoria, Africa Executive Director, ONE Campaign, said the purpose of the report was to make state governments proactive in health delivery.
According to him, it took 10 years of consistent advocacy to get the national health act passed.
“Because, most primary health care centres across the country were in terrible state. So our idea then was that, if you put enough funding it will improve things and so ten years of advocacy eventually got the act passed in 2014.
The reasons why you see we put the report together to say let us show what states actually are doing to make sure they provide services to their people especially having taken so many years to campaign for funding to come”.
The Chairman of National Advocates for Health Group, Muhammad Usman, called on the government to provide the required leadership to ensure that primary healthcare is improved across the country.
According to him, the Federal Government must ensure timely release of funds allocated for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund and effective utilization of the same at the sub-national level to improve primary health care performance.
While unveiling the reports, Sen. Ibrahim Olorigbe, Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, called for huge funds to be advocated for venerable groups.
Oloriegbe said the report should be a check to do the right things, demanding from every candidate to be committed to social services.
He called on the advocates to give the masses a voice and not focus alone on president, governors or National Assembly members.