HMCAN, HCPAN chart path to improve health insurance in Nigeria
A new pact between the Health & Managed Care Association Of Nigeria (HMCAN) and the Healthcare Providers Association Of Nigeria (HCPAN) is aimed at improving health insurance in Nigeria by listing the informal sector and give opportunity to less privilege Nigerians.
The group said that the scheme would work optimally if challenges of insincerity among operators, discrimination, public awareness, public perception and other germane issues were tackled.
Speaking at a retreat organised by the associations in Lagos to chart pathway for the challenges halting growth in the sector, the group in a joint communiqué said: “We are committed to the ideals of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) including access to quality and affordable healthcare services, equity with financial protection for all Nigerians.”
The plan, which is part of global effort to ease health financing, would see the associations become partners in progress with an increased level of sincerity of purpose and transparency, the group said.
Chairman of HMCAN, Kolawole Owoka, and President of HCPAN, Umar Sanda, who signed the communiqué said there was need to institutionalise best practices in the country’s health insurance through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to ensure that stakeholders play their role as enshrined in the substantive Act 35 of 1999 without changing the rules midstream.
The group noted that the satisfaction of enrollee must be priority to gain confidence and trust in the scheme, adding the associations were determined to eliminate discriminatory activities at the point of service delivery.
“We have identified challenges in respect to the rapid expansion of health insurance, and as stakeholders, we commit to addressing these issues through regular joint and industry engagement.
“We call on the NHIS to immediately resuscitate the tripartite and quadruplet committee meetings between all Health Insurance stakeholders, consisting Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs), Healthcare Providers, NECA and Enrollees,” the group said.
Sanda, who lamented that the formal sector which the scheme focus on only account for a small share of the country’s population, insisted that involving the informal sector would see the programme achieve above 50 per cent success in no time.
“We will unite with a common pursuit for the legislative mandate for compulsory health insurance to ensure rapid expansion of risk pools and national coverage,” the group said.
The associations further stressed on the need to adopt global best practices and industry standards, as well as compliance through self-regulation to eliminate unethical practices.
According to the experts, there is need for stronger regulation by the NHIS in providing benchmarks for minimum pricing standards that will ensure adequacy for premiums and provider reimbursements, thus, improving the quality of care.
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