On 12/Jun/2019 / In Medical News
The Nigeria Medical Association has said that it is on the verge of establishing a health insurance scheme tagged, Project Five by Three for the informal sector, with N300 fixed as the premium. The President of the NMA, Dr Francis Faduyile, told our correspondent in an exclusive interview that the association had chosen Fidelity Bank as its financial partner for the scheme.
Faduyile said the scheme, scheduled to take off in August 2019, would target 5 million enrollees within the first three years of operation. He added that the problems associated with the National Health Insurance Scheme necessitated the initiative, which is aimed at ensuring Universal Health Coverage in the country.
He said, “The Project Five by Three is the brainchild of the Nigeria Medical Association where we are hoping to enroll five million Nigerians in the next three years. The project is about Risk Pulling Social Intervention Programme with the indigent people in the informal sector brackets as the target. We expect artisans, taxi drivers, farmers and others in the sector to enroll for the scheme. Members of the NMA are also encouraged to enroll.
“This is not a proposal for government. It will be managed by NMA. In our own case, the premium to be paid is affordable at N300 per person. We have met many organisations that are willing to help us. We have the support of Fidelity Bank, which will serve as our bankers. We are also discussing with other development partners like the Africa Development Bank and some government agencies.”
The NMA boss disclosed that the association had secured the services of some pharmaceutical companies that would supply drugs for the scheme, stating that the hospitals to be used had also been secured.
“We will send the enrollees to hospitals that the NMA has registered for the scheme. This scheme will not have the Health Management Organisation, which serves as the middleman in the NHIS. This is the problem with the government scheme.
“We have also gone ahead to meet with pharmaceutical companies that will supply drugs at wholesale prices so that the cost of those drugs and treatment will be reduced drastically. We are hoping that with this, we can now show government that there is a need to be serious with the health insurance scheme, which we really need in order to achieve Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria.
“We have discussed this in our meeting and hoping that by August 2019, when we will have our National Executive Council meeting, an approval will be obtained for its commencement. We have reached an advanced stage. We have people who have already subscribed to it. They are eager to buy shares because we do not want monopoly in the scheme.”
Faduyile said the scheme had been successful in other developed countries and it changed the outlook of health in those countries.
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