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Abuja doctors worry over poor health insurance coverage in Nigeria

THE Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Abuja chapter, has expressed concern over Nigeria’s low rating in the global community and on the poor implementation of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Ekpe Philip Uche, the Chairman of the chapter, said this on Monday at a press conference to mark NMA-Abuja’s physician week with the theme, “Universal Health Coverage: Leaving No One Behind”.

Uche said that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) three and eight on UHC envisioned that by 2030, everybody could access health services they desire.

He added that the goal is to make quality health sufficient, effective and accessible with no financial constraints.

Uche said that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) still covers less than seven per cent of Nigerians till date.

“The NMA has thought it wise to bring to the attention of all, including the government of the day, partners and the public, the need for a multi-sectoral approach,” the chairman said.

This, he said, would be geared towards the institution of a political will for both investment and alternative funding to drive health reforms.

According to him, it is no news that government efforts to achieve universal health for Nigeria is below expectation, especially when compared with many other countries.

Phillip said that the major job for the NHIS was to provide basic health to Nigerians without impoverishing them irrespective of their socio-economic status.

He said while the formal sector had made significant progress, the informal sector which comprises over 80 per cent of the country’s population is not yet covered.

The UHC is included in the World Health Organisation constitution of 1948 which declares health as a fundamental human right.

According to the WHO, UHC means that all people and communities receive promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they need without suffering financial hardship.

The United Nations member states, which include Nigeria have agreed to achieve the universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030 as part of the SDGs.



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