President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Ayuba Wabba has said that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) which should have been of great help in healthcare delivery system has failed Nigerians in terms of affordable health care delivery.
Wabba made this known in Abuja while speaking with the representatives of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), led by its president, Dr Iyke Odo, who were on advocacy visit to intimate the NLC leadership of the association’s centenary anniversary programmes coming up in August in Abuja.
The NLC president lamented that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), that should have been of great help in healthcare delivery system has remained an ugly tale as not much has happened with the scheme in Nigeria.
He disclosed that the NLC was in the forefront in pushing for the scheme with the federal government during the tenure of the former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, as NLC president, but regretted that the scheme was yet to meet the expectations of the people, since when it was launched.
According to Wabba, the NLC is not just about fighting for workers’ welfare, it also should fights for quality healthcare for the people, but lamented that corruption is hindering healthcare delivery in Nigeria as funds are not always available for useful interventions in the sector.
“Government policies in Nigeria are not coherent, that is one of the reasons for our fight. Politicians now steal in billions, making one to question the fight against corruption. Is there fight against corruption in Nigeria? Stealing is more today than ever. Government policies require discipline and prudence by their administrators for them to be successful,” he said.
Odo had earlier said that for investors in healthcare sector such as members of his association, Nigeria’s economic terrain remains rough, slippery and dark and that it has taken a dogged, determined and informed labour leadership to have weathered the tempestuous storms of our system.
According to him, AGPMPN “Remains the greatest partners of government at all levels in promoting and providing healthcare to Nigerians. We provide over 70% of the healthcare needs of our people and provide the equivalent percentage in the manpower needs and infrastructure in the health sector.
“We have done this much and continue to do so in a consistent manner despite the grave odds that stare every investor in our country in the face, especially investing in the very delicate and intensely demanding venture of healthcare services.”
Odo described private doctors as “the gateway to Nigeria’s healthcare journey, the frontline doctors in the land. We are the most available and the most accessible doctors in the country and we have shouldered the healthcare burden of Nigerians in the larger dimension for our healthcare system to be standing today.”