The Nigerian Academy of Medicine has said the provision of health insurance would solve the problem of poor health services in the country.
The newly elected president of the academy, Professor Sam Ohaegbulam said, “I believe that part of the challenges we have in delivering quality health care services is due to poor funding, and health insurance is the only answer to that challenge.”
The academy has also linked the poor health care services in Nigeria to poor health insurance services, adding that millions of citizens are being forced to make out-of-pocket payments for health care services.
According to the group, given the country’s political leaders’ attitudes and the state of the economy, the government would not be able to afford to provide adequate funding for health care services on its own, highlighting the need for efficient compulsory health insurance services for Nigerians.
Ohaegbulam, who is the chief neurosurgeon at the Memfys Hospital for Neurosurgery, said, “Health insurance is largely the answer to Nigeria’s poor health care services. Without compulsory, successful health insurance, Nigeria cannot generate enough revenue to tackle the health challenges of its people.
“If someone cannot pay for the health insurance premium, the government or family members can help to pay rather than contributing and spending millions of naira for surgery, instead of enrolling in health insurance to enjoy the services at a reduced cost,” he added.
He charged the academy to champion a cause that would herald a turnaround in the public health care system in Nigeria so that both the elites and ordinary Nigerians could confidently patronise the system.