By Ndidichukwu Odoh
Indeed Universal Health Coverage (UHC) cannot be achieved by government alone.
But for Nigeria to expand high impact and life saving interventions to all of it’s citizens, it must ensure improvement of healthcare service .
With the recent report by National Population Commission (NPC) which puts the country’s population at 198 million, the inadequate and non release of meagre health budget allocation, the health of Nigerians is plunged into further suffering making UHC attainment almost impossible.
Over two decades of its establishment, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) coverage has not reached 10% of the nation’s population. More than 80% of patients pay by themselves with no form of insurance.
The President association of general and private practitioners of Nigeria ,AGPMPA, Dr Frank Odafen said this is a clear indication that Nigeria is not on track to achieve UHC.
He made the disclosure while briefing journalist on the sideline of the world Health day celebration and visit of the WOHCA president to Nigeria .
Dr Odafen urged the federal government to make Health care service accessible to the entire populace through Universal Health Coverage and ensuring proper coordination of the activities of the NHIS.
“We found out that most Nigerians pay out of their pocket for health care services ,and this is not promoting universal health care coverage” said Odafen
“We are trying all our best to ensure that universal health coverage is a reality ,though the percentage of those covered by the NHIS scheme is very low ” he added
Attaining Universal Health Coverage means that there is access, equilty and quality of care, that every Nigerian receives equal medical treatment irrespective of their class, this according to Odafen is possible only when the NHIS steps us it game to protect all Nigerians and not few.