Stakeholders Fault Removal of HIV Management from NHIA’s Primary Care Service Delivery Scheme

Photo taken in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Photo taken in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Oluchi Chibuzor

Participants at an engagement forum organised by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) have expressed concern with the removal of Human immunodeficiency virus and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) management from primary healthcare level of services obtainable for enrollees in the NHIA’s scheme.

This was as global donor agencies continued to withdraw funding for HIV/AIDS management in the country,

Speaking at an interactive stakeholders’ forum held in Lagos, the Deputy General Manager, NHIA Ikeja State Office, Mrs. Aisha Abubarka-Haruna, acknowledged that the forum would enable all stakeholders to address areas that must be addressed to increase quality access to healthcare in the country.

According to her, in the NHIA’s Group, Individual and Family Social Health Insurance Programme (GIFSHIP) scheme, it was mandatory for service providers, HMO and the NHIA to ensure that no enrollee suffers any point of contact within the process of seeking quality access to healthcare in the country.

He warned that they remain resolute to delish any stakeholder found to be jeopardising the federal government’s efforts to enlist all Nigerians to the net of the NHIA.

Meanwhile, responding to questions from the enrollees she noted that according to the NHIA Act, “subscribed enrollees has the right to change their primary healthcare provider once it has closed down, relocated or been delisted by the Authority.

“Right to change your primary healthcare provider once you have been transferred to another location. Right to choose an alternative primary healthcare provider for dependents if they are living in a different location.”

From the presentation titled, ‘The Authority’s Operational Modalities: Enrollees’ Perspective,’ it noted that HIV/AIDS management can now be obtained from the secondary level of healthcare services delivery in the NHIA benefit packages.

However, responding to this and its implication, a Medical Doctor with the Gbagada General Hospital, Dr. Abideen Gbolahun, urged the NHIA to reconsider introducing HIV/AIDS management back to primary level of healthcare service delivery to its enrollees.

“The implication is that there is going to be an enrollment gap and that primary healthcare point serves as an opportunity for us to enroll patients. If you turn them back, they will not come back because they already feel unwanted.

“The implication is that we are going to see a spike, as it is right now we should seize every opportunity to enroll more of them to come into the system. “

On the recent NHIA partnership with Roche, he observed that the programme would have been beneficial if it was located across each state of the federation.

“We are talking about seven centers to cover the entire nation. If I pick a patience in Lagos, I will have to travel all the way to Ibadan.

“That is a lot of burden on the patient both financially and logistically. I would have preferred a situation where every state will have a center with a coordinating center or regional. But now you devolve both responsibilities to various teaching hospitals,” he said.

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