Vol. 2, Issue 8 (2016)
Understanding the challenges and prospects of administering the national health insurance scheme in Nigeria
Author(s): Felix Onen Eteng, Uno Ijim-Agbor
Abstract: Providing healthcare services to public service workers in Nigeria has not been an easy task. With fixed and low income, majority of the public service workers cannot boast of meeting their basic medical needs. They are daily confronted with the condition of high cost of drugs and medical services which are not easily affordable. Besides, there is the general lamentation on the inability of public servants to access adequate and effective healthcare arising mainly from poverty occasioned by meager monthly emolument, the dearth of trained medical personnel, infrastructural decay, and poor funding of the medical system. This appalling condition prompted the federal government in Nigeria to introduce the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in order to address this situation. Unfortunately, NHIS seems unable to provide the expected healthcare services due to a number of challenges. This paper identified these challenges ranging from poor public conception of the scheme, corruption, cultural dementia to excessive bureaucratization among others. As a pathway to its success, the paper suggests among others an act for a special trust fund and mandatory participation.