The Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Professor Muhammed Sambo, has said poverty has contributed to the ineffective health care system in Nigeria.
Prof. Sambo, also speaking during the virtual conference on Thursday, said prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the health sector had been bedevilled by lots of challenges, especially healthcare financing.
He said there was insufficient provisions in budgetary allocation for the health sector because of other sectors competing for the country’s scarce resources.
“The budgetary allocation for the health sector is too low because the population growth and other factors keep increasing. There is also intra-sectoral conflict demand within the health sector where other health agencies are also looking for resources, and they all keep competing for funds from the same budget,” he said.
Prof Sambo also said there was also uncoordinated expenditure because a lot of money from donor partners and the private sector are not well coordinated.
He said the global health security threat caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has caused devastating effects to not only the health sector but the economy, social, security and others.
The Executive Secretary said that efficient financing system will give room for accountability and effectiveness through innovative financing as no country could adopt one financial option that could be sufficient for health care financing.
“We must have to pool funds from governments, public and private establishment, individuals, communities, and donor agencies. We must also look at which one has the capacity to attract global response,” he said.
Prof Sambo said since he took over at the helm of affairs at the agency in July 2019, it has overcome the skirmishes and challenges that bedevilled it since 1999.
“The current scheme is giving the best to every enrolee. In the last one year, enrolees would attest that all pending issues before I took over the leadership have been attended to. There is now transparency and accountability in the system because we have been able to work with evidence.”