Health

UHC: NIPSS wants Buhari to convene National Council of State meeting

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The National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to convene a National Council of State meeting to discuss modalities for the attainment of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for all citizens.

Group Capt. Mohammed Gumi (rtd), NIPSS Directing Officer, made the call at the third National Summit on Legislative Network for UHC, on Thursday in Abuja.

The summit is organised by the legislative arm of government, in collaboration with Development Research and Projects Centre (DRPC) under the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale (PacFH@Scale), an NGO.

Gumi stated that such move would make the nation’s healthcare delivery more flexible and accommodating to all.

The Institute further urged the Federal Government to urgently repeal and replace the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) with the National Health Insurance Commission Bill.

“Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to NIPSS earlier this year, he asked us to take a look at healthcare delivery as the case study for 2019 Senior Executive Course 41 of the Institute.

“The study, with the theme ‘Finding Solutions to Funding Universal Healthcare Delivery in Nigeria’, identified lack of adequate funding as a major impediment to quality healthcare for all citizens.

“We also discovered that poor budgetary allocation to health, inadequate and untimely disbursement, absence of risk protection, fragmentation and duplication of funding pools result in inequitable access to quality healthcare services.

“This situation has left the socio-economically disadvantaged and vulnerable groups excluded from the coverage.

“Another barrier to UHC is weak monitoring and financial tracking mechanisms”.

Gumi identified other factors affecting the country’s healthcare system as inadequate, reliable data and low deployment of ICT in the sector, as well as weak synergy across all levels of government.

Gumi, however, recommended the introduction of an innovative and effective contribution specifically earmarked for health.

“An example of such contribution is the one kobo per second for maximum of 10 minutes per day of all outgoing GSM calls on active mobile phone lines.

“This could triple the Basic Health Care Provision,” he said.

Edited by Nyisom Fiyigon Dore

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