By Bankole Wright
Speaker of the house of representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has said that over a 100 million Nigerians cannot afford to treat malaria.
Dogara said this while declaring open an investigative hearing on the alleged inhuman treatment of healthcare providers, The Cable reports.
“Regrettably, there is no mechanism to protect vulnerable families from the catastrophic effects of the exorbitant cost of healthcare services in Nigeria,”
“Poor families, who constitute over 67 percent of our population, (well in excess of 100 million Nigerians), cannot afford to pay hospital bills even for treatment of malaria in public health facilities, nor for routine ante-natal services.
“If we must achieve desired outcomes and changes, there is a compelling need to expand the coverage levels of NHIS, currently estimated to be about 4-5 percent of Nigerians, mostly in the formal sector.
“A scenario where even this abysmally low coverage is attributable to those in paid employment and other types of formal sector creates suspicion of lack of creativity and innovation on the part of key actors in the health insurance industry in Nigeria, especially HMOs.”