How to Get More Health Insurance Coverage for Nigerians

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In a fit of anger, Femi Johnson*, a patient back in his forties at a hospital in Abuja, blocks the entrance to reception, refusing to let others through to make a point.

“Oga, we can’t help it,” the receptionist said in a defeatist tone. “They told us this morning that we are not accepting Hygeia from today,” she adds.

Mr. Johnson, seemingly out of options, ignores the receptionist’s call.

Some takeaways:

  • According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), only 20% of Nigerians who fall ill see a medical professional and 70% of people who fall ill do not receive proper medical consultation, highlighting the need for affordable care. , available and accessible.

  • When insurers are introduced into the doctor-patient relationship, it distorts the dynamic because the healthcare provider may be motivated to provide treatment beyond what is needed, knowing that the insurer ultimately bears the financial charge.

  • Social health insurance is gaining popularity as an alternative solution combining different funding sources, with the government contributing on behalf of those who cannot afford to pay.

At this point, a scene familiar to many Nigerians plays out. Other patients beg Johnson to “take heart” and allow others to seek treatment. He ignores them as much as possible until an elderly patient steps in and takes him aside to appeal to his sensitivity.

“Pelé, you know that’s how these people behave…they like to do it anyway,” she told Mr Johnson.

The rest of the conversation was inaudible as they walked to the parking lot to chat. Inside reception, after a few whistles and comments to both the receptionist and Johnson for the disruption caused, things went as usual.

What seemed to be a

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