The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) says between 20 to 40 per cent of funds allocated to healthcare delivery by government in Nigeria is wasted due to inefficiency.
Health Finance Advisor of USAID – HFG project, Ngozi Okoronkwo, said this in Ibadan on Wednesday at a three-day intensive training for officials of Osun and Abia states on operationalisation of their health insurance schemes.
Attending the training are top officials and key staff of Osun Health Insurance Scheme (OHIS) and Abia State Social Health insurance Agency.
Ms Okonkwo said resources allocated for the health sector were often wasted by those saddled to manage them.
She urged healthcare managers to be prudent in handling funds meant for healthcare.
In her presentation on Health Financing Functions, Ms Okonkwo stressed the need to adhere to the key principles of social health insurance in developing the economy.
She also shed more light on the ongoing health financing reforms in Nigeria and highlighted several techniques of raising revenue for health care delivery as well as the need to understand the concept of risk pooling and ensuring strategic purchasing of health services.
Chief of Party of USAID – HFG project, Gafar Alawode, in his presentations on Health Financing Within the Overall Health System, expressed concerns over Nigeria’s inability to attain the expected level of health funding and funding.
He said health insurance scheme was a necessary mechanism to achieve universal health coverage.
He also noted that if the citizens paid their taxes appropriately and the government utilised the money judiciously, more fund would go to the health sector and the healthcare delivery would improve.
Mr Alawode charged the Osun Health Insurance Scheme (O’HIS) and Abia State Social Health insurance Agency (Abia SHIA) to ensure that the schemes covered majority of the people, particularly the rural dwellers and the indigent.
USAID – HFG Programme Coordinator in Osun State, Ismailah Abdulkareem , said the training was organized to deepen the knowledge and understanding of the participants on health financing concepts and health insurance operations.
“This workshop was organised to identify all required design element for effective implementation of Osun Health Insurance Scheme (O’HIS) and Abia State Social Health insurance Agency (Abia SHIA) and to acquaint all management staff with operation requirements and guideline,” he said.
“It is also intended to develop a comprehensive action plan for operationalization of Osun and Abia states health insurance schemes.”
“With this workshop, we hope to acquaint the management and staff of the Osun and Abia states health insurance schemes with designated organizational design and relevant rules, regulations, norms and practices of the health insurance agency.”