FG blames low insurance, inadequate infrastructure on accessing health services

By Favour Nnabugwu




The Federal Government blamed some of the challenges in accessing affordable and quality healthcare services on low insurance penetration and inadequate infrastructure.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige stated this in his keynote address at the Prohealth 2nd Board and Management retreat with the theme: “Nigeria Health Insurance Ecosystem: The place of Prohealth HMO Limited,”

At the retreat held in Nasarawa state, the  Minister, represented by the Board Chairman, Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, Chief Emmanuel Nwosu, said retreat was a unique opportunity for all of the stakeholders to deliberate on issues affecting the Nigerian health insurance sector, with particular focus on the role of Prohealth HMO.

According to him, “As we all know, the Nigeria health care sector has been facing numerous challenges over the years including inadequate funding, low insurance penetration, and inadequate infrastructure. These challenges have made it difficult for many Nigerians to access affordable and quality healthcare services.

“However, the emergence of Health Management Organisations like Prohealth has played a crucial role in bridging the gap. Prohealth HMO has been at the forefront of providing access to quality healthcare for Nigerians by partnering with healthcare providers to provide affordable healthcare services to its enrollees.

“This retreat presents an opportunity for us to deliberate on the challenges faced by the Nigeria health insurance sector in providing affordable healthcare services and how Prohealth HMO can continue to innovate and provide quality healthcare services to its enrollees.”

Ngige urged the participants to face all deliberations with open mind commitment to finding practical solutions to the challenges in the sector.

In her keynote address, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the NSITF, Barrister Maureen Allagoa, said health insurance in Nigeria cushions the potential negative impact of the persistent underfunding of the health sector.

The NSITF MD/CEO contended that health insurance provides financial risk protection for Nigerians by insuring the availability of pool of funds for the provision of their healthcare needs.

She said the history and growth of health insurance in the country cannot be complete without the mention of ProHealth HMO.

She said, “The importance of health insurance in Nigeria can never be over emphasised as it cushions the potential negative impact of the persistent underfunding in the health sector. It provides financial risk protection for Nigerians by insuring the availability of pool of funds for the provision of their healthcare needs.

“By making health insurance mandatory for all Nigerians, particularly all employers and employees in the corporate and private sectors, during the Nigeria Health Insurance Authority (NSHI) Act, 2022, government has provided guaranteed access to quality and affordable healthcare for all Nigerians.

“Herein lies the place of ProHealth in the Nigerian health insurance ecosystem as one of the leading health maintainance organisations just like its parent body, the NSITF, which is a leading social security institution in Nigeria, and indeed Africa.”

She urged the Prohealth HMO to serve as a bride between Nigerians and the healthcare providers by managing the provisions of standard healthcare services.

“With over 800 health providers in your network, 50,000 plus enrollees and one million successfully trained persons, I am confident that you are positioned to be a world class maintainance organisation in line with your organisation’s vision.

“Swift customer care service, automated system of operation, provision of customer service that can tend to the needs of individual clients are some of the key strategies that distinguishes major players in the health insurance ecosystem and I am glad to note that Prohealth is already operating in that direction.

“You must ensure that you adhere to your core values in service delivery with passion, relentless pursuit of excellence and financial prudence and responsibility, while displaying hundred percent professionalism, commitment and confidentiality in your interactions with your enrollees,” she said.