acpn Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN)
The Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN)

ACPN Lament Poor Social Health Insurance Coverage

The Association of Community Pharmacists in Nigeria has expressed worries over the coverage rate in social health insurance, saying it has dropped from almost 10 per cent to 1.72 per cent in the last eight years.

While stating that the figure might drop further, the association said the scheme has become a public sector-driven concept rather than a private sector-oriented agenda.

In a statement jointly signed by National Secretary, Ezeh Ambrose and the chairman, Adewale Oladigbolu, it called on the Federal Government to activate the running of the National Health Insurance project in alignment with due process in the public interest.

The statement read in part, “In Nigeria, Social Health Insurance has become a public sector driven concept rather than a private sector-oriented agenda, which is one of the main reasons it does not inspire confidence in enrolees. As of eight years ago, the coverage rate in social health insurance dropped from almost 10% to 1.72% with a chance that it might drop even further.

“If the gains of social health insurance will be ever reaped in Nigeria, it becomes expedient that a seasoned Actuarist or Insurer be engaged to save the remains of the scheme while also allowing professionalism through separation of roles be built into the ailing project in the professional and public interest. The high cross-mobility rate between service rendition and positive influencers that Pharmacy offers must be fully explored as we move forward in health planning in Nigeria.”

The association said for over 13 out of the 18 years of its establishment, the Social Health Insurance in Nigeria has been faced with attendant failures including, unlawful payment mechanisms and indiscriminate capitation payment.

While demanding the full implementation of the National Health Act 2014, it said one of the most positive reflections of the Act is the creation of a Basic National Healthcare Provision Fund, which is meant to be an accrual of one per cent from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

It said, “This proviso of the law, if well implemented, will make healthcare more impactful as it will guarantee better funding of the health sector, which groans under both a paucity of funds and gross mismanagement of even budgeted funds often times bordering on an average of just about five per cent relative to the 13 per cent prescribed by Heads of Government that facilitated the Abuja declaration of 2021.”

The association also underscored the importance of defining and articulating the full potential of primary healthcare in Nigeria.

It, therefore, appealed to President Bola Tinubu to revitalise Nigeria’s healthcare system while suggesting that it should be carried out “through reforms that will pave the way for the appointment of an Adviser Pharmaceutical Services/Chairman Reforms on Drug Distribution endeavours, who will champion a resuscitation of drug distribution generally with a specific mandate on all the three agenda items listed in this memo and related ones.”

“Your Excellency, the ACPN assures you of its willingness to collaborate with the government as it targets a revival of dead structures across the board in all sectors of the Nigerian economy including Health in the months ahead,” it added.