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Doctors reject “politicised” state health insurance

In Gaye, Abuja, a mother watches over her daughter infused for malaria in a repurposed classroom by doctors on outreach. CHIPS hope to bring free health care to communities such as Gaye.
In Gaye, Abuja, a mother watches over her daughter infused for malaria in a repurposed classroom by doctors on outreach. CHIPS hope to bring free health care to communities such as Gaye.

Doctors have resolved to not take part in any state health insurance scheme activated without the input of doctors in individual states.

They are concerned that individual insurance schemes in states are being politicized, and offer no workable benefit for both clients and health care providers.

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An executive council of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) issued the resolution at the end of its meeting last week in Uyo, insisting doctors would only take part when there is “meaningful engagement between government and stakeholders.”

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NMA president, Francis Faduyile, read out the resolution at a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday which called for “workable, beneficial and sustainable terms and conditions acceptable to all parties.”

He said the rollout of health insurance schemes was “politicized” and more state executives were joining in to “play to the gallery”—and score political points with no real health benefits for residents.

“Capitation [money paid out to facilities for each enrolled client per month] is currently N750, and we are complaining,” said Faduyile.

“Some states are paying N500, and that cannot take care of ordinary diseases, let alone laboratory investigations. If they go ahead with the current plans they have, there is no way we can have an effective health insurance scheme.

“Every state must be able to sit with the body of doctors, who are the major providers, for us to have something that is agreeable,” he told Daily Trust.

“You cannot do things for the sake of doing. If we must do it, we must provide efficient, effective health care for our people.

“Governments building big buildings, without drugs, with personnel, that is what we are seeing entering the state health insurance scheme.”

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