Medical Directors Lament Inability to Cover 10% of Populace in Health Scheme
Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The Guild of Medical Directors has registered its displeasure over the inability of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to cover even 10 percent of Nigerians, adding that 70 percent of the populace still patronise private healthcare centres of which many are of the unorthodox category.
President of the Guild, Dr. Raymond Kuti, who revealed this in Abuja yesterday after the inaugural leadership and business summit of the Guild, revealed that the medical economics of Nigeria in 2021 showed that approximately N7,500,000,000 was spent on medical tourism by Nigerians.
He said healthcare practitioners and their patients have been at the receiving end of unfulfilled promises and under achievements by policy makers and governmental stakeholders as services are inaccessible to patients, and funding is unavailable to private healthcare facility owners.
The president of the Guild added that currently, lack of modern equipment as well as inadequate welfare benefits for medical personnel can be said to be major driver of the brain drain being experienced in the health sector.
According to him, “It is stating the obvious that our health sector is rapidly and continuously haemorrhaging. The medical health economics of Nigeria in 2021 was approximately seven trillion, five hundred billion naira which was spent on medical tourism by Nigerians.
“70 percent of Nigerians still patronise the private healthcare centres, many of which are of the unorthodox category. Nearly all the private patients pay out of their pocket as the NHIS and HMOS have not been able to cover 10 percent of the populace.”
He said to forestall such anomalies, “the guild is set to launch and sustain constructive dialogue with the policy makers in the legislative and executive arms of the government with a view to achieving win-win solutions in the numerous challenges in the health sector.
“Reduce the volume of medical tourism to the barest minimum and actively work at upgrading the private health sector such that it becomes the medical hub of the continent.”
Kuti said the Guild is ready to partner all requisite sectors to help make the Nigerian sector a flourishing industry.