Senate wants compulsory health insurance for all Nigerian workers

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The Senate has directed the Federal Ministry of Employment to put in place policies that would compel employers of labour to procure health insurance package for their employees.

The upper legislative chamber also urged the Federal Government to increase budgetary allocation to the Primary Health Care in the country and directed the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure that the health insurance scheme is accessible to all Nigerians.

It said the policy which must be embraced by management of the public and private firms and establishments, would improve the well-being of workers.

The resolutions followed the adoption of a motion moved by Oluremi Tinubu (AP, Lagos) during Thursday plenary.

She described PHCs as grassroots, community based initiative that provides health care services to communities, noting that it was universally accepted that access to health care for all was only possible through prevalence and accessibility of PHCs.

She explained that the PHC was adopted in 1988 by the National Health Policy to provide promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative services.

The lawmaker expressed concerns that a lot of the problems in Nigeria’s health sector could be traced to low performance of the PHC facilities.

She said: “The World Bank Service Delivery Indicators Survey showed that the PHC washampered by lack of financial resources, infrastructure deficit, insufficiency/lack of drugs, equipment and vaccines, among other encumbrances.”

The lawmaker lamented that due to the failure of PHC and the belief that it was for lower-income earners, there had been an influx of patients in Secondary and Tertiary Health Care Facilities in the country.

In their contributions, other lawmakers urged relevant stakeholders in the country to join hands and work towards proper funding of the Primary health care, for accessible, affordable and efficient service delivery to Nigerians.

In his remarks, President …

Why Lagosians should embrace health insurance- Sanwo-Olu

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Wife of the Lagos State governor, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, has emphasised the need for Lagosians to get active about their health by enrolling in the state health insurance scheme.

Recall that the immediate past administration of Akinwunmi Ambode, launched the Lagos Health Insurance scheme in December 2018, with the aim to providing access to affordable and quality healthcare services to the growing population.

While the population of Lagos is estimated at over 21 million, health facilities in the state are seen in short supply, a development that meant that patients, especially in public health institutions, are put on waiting queue (in some cases, for upwards of three months) to see doctors, with most of the patients struggling to pay out of their pockets.

The state health insurance scheme backed by a law enacted by the State House of Assembly in May 2015, makes it mandatory for residents to enrol in the scheme, but since the launch, little or nothing has been achieved with the scheme.

But speaking on Monday during a medical mission by James Omolaja Odunmbaku Foundation in Ojodu area of Lagos, Sanwo-Olu said: “I must add that the health insurance scheme is a critical game changer in the effort of government to increase access to healthcare services as it is a known fact that out of pocket payment is a major factor that often time limits access to healthcare especially for indigents and other vulnerable persons in the society.

“As a medical doctor myself, I clearly understand the positive mileage we stand to gain if all residents sign on to the health insurance scheme which has been designed to cater for basic primary and selected secondary healthcare services for beneficiaries such as treatment and management of malaria, hypertension, common childhood illnesses, antenatal care services, … Read More...

Global Fund, PharmAccess partners to accelerate health systems, disease treatment in Africa

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The Global Fund has signed a partnership agreement with Stichting PharmAccess Group to support African countries in building innovative, scalable health insurance models and extending coverage to people living with HIV by harnessing the power of digital technology.

The signing ceremony took place on Thursday 9th of May 2019 at the on-going Financial Times Future of Health Conference at the KIT Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The conference organized by the Financial Times in partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Joep Lange Institute brought together governments of several countries, multilateral organisations and global healthcare pioneers to explore how collaboration, mobile technology and innovation can accelerate inclusive and sustainable financing for Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

This partnership will accelerate the achievement of the goal of universal health coverage and the SDGs by building resilient, sustainable and inclusive systems for health leveraging on digital technology which happens to be the main focus of this conference.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Peter Sands, the Executive Director of Global Fund, expressed his delight stating that the partnership will “pave the way for many Africans to access affordable and inclusive universal health coverage.”

The Global Fund is the largest multilateral provider of grants to build resilient and sustainable systems for health, which underpin universal health coverage. System strengthening Interventions include investments in supply chain, data and service delivery integration.

Monique Dolfing-Volgelenzang, the CEO of Stichting PharmAccess Group, at this landmark signing ceremony stressed the importance of the partnership aimed at “building country capacities in Africa on the implementation of health financing models with the use of mobile technology, pooling various types of funding, in order to fight HIV, TB and malaria and to reach Universal Health Coverage.”

Jide Idris, the Commissioner of Health for Lagos State Nigeria, … Read More...