#PHC4UHC: 70% of out of pocket spending by Nigerians is on health – Official

By Philip Shimnom Clement in Lagos

The Chief Medical Director of Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Prof. Adetokunbo Fabamwo has lamented the inability of Nigerians to access quality healthcare as citizens pay about 70% of their personal money to get healthcare.
Adetokunbo said the Universal Health Coverage hasn’t spread wide enough for majority of Nigerians to access.
He made the disclosure as a guest speaker during the Local Study tour by participants of the Senior Executive Course 41 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) visit to Lagos state.
Speaking on the theme: “Stakeholders Perception on Universal Health Care Delivery in Nigeria” the CMD said Universal Health Coverage (UHC) has not not attained its major aim of covering everyone.
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“One of the challenges of Universal Health Coverage is that about 70% of out of pocket savings is on health related issues, and 70% of that amount is spent on private hospitals.
“This is because the basic and effective health care services that is expected to be provided by both Primary, secondary and tertiary health care providers cannot cover everyone.
“This is as a result of funding that cover facilities and health care providers across board, which is why the National Health Insurance Scheme today has covered slightly above 6% of Nigerians,” he said.
However, in the case of how Lagos state intends to provide access to quality healthcare for indigenes, Fabamwo said the state has launched the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme which it has made compulsory for all Lagosians.
He said, “Unlike the National Health Insurance Scheme which is optional, the state’s insurance scheme is mandatory for every Lagosians which is why the state established the Lagos State Health Management Agency to manage the scheme set to be launched in June after its successful passage last year,”.
According to him, 150 private hospitals were selected out of the over 3,000 available in Lagos to ensure that the quality healthcare delivery is achieved under the scheme.
He added that a family of 6 will pay N40,000 to enroll in the scheme out of which government will pay 75% of the amount which is N10,000, while single individuals are to pay N8,500.
“Because we want it to be general and accessible, we have also made it free for children between age 0-12, elderly people above 60yrs, destitute among others. This is to ensure that the health coverage is achieved in Lagos state,” the CMD said.
Earlier in his remarks, the leader of the NIPPS delegation and director of studies, Nasirudeen Usman said the purpose of the local tour by group 5 participants was to study and understand the challenges of Universal Health Coverage and make a tangible submission on the way forward.
“The president has charged senior members of the Institute to a research on health care delivery and advise him on how to tackle it.
“Accordingly, part of the plan to achieve this task is to undertake a local tour on twelve states (Six each from both north and southern regions) and later go to other African countries to set a benchmark.
“We are here to examine Lagos and how it is fairing in Healthcare delivery to the people, as each group will make its presentation to the different state governors at the end of the tour.
“We are also here to run consultancy service for Lagos state government to x-ray any problem they are encountering and chart a course on how to solve them with regards to primary health care,” Usman said as he stated the Institute’s aim of visit.
He added that the president will receive the final recommendations of the tour at the and of the year.
In his welcome address, the Secretary to Lagos State government, Tunji Bello assured the participants of the state government’s corporation in achieving the aim of the tour.
He also expressed government’s commitment to delivering quality health care to Lagosians.