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NHIS now compromised, say pharmacists

NHIS now compromised, say pharmacists



The Association of Community Pharmacist of Nigeria (ACPN) is

urging the Federal Government to make the National Health Insurance Scheme accord respect to all professional bodies in the sector.

Its president, Dr Alkali Albert Kelong called on NHIS to direct the health management organisations (HMOs) to pay other professionals after verifying their claims on services they have rendered.

Kelong, who spoke in Lagos, lamented that only doctors presently handle the distribution of money given by the NHIS for distribution to other professionals within the health chain, adding that this negates the provision of the scheme, and as such, it is discriminatory and unacceptable.

“Things can work here the same way they work in saner climes but we always bring sentiments into this thing. We are advocating for maintenance in status quo; that all professional within the healthcare delivery system must be adequately catered for in the NHIS. It is when you have respective professionals carrying out their responsibility that you have a better outcome in therapy. One person cannot claim to know everything. In the end, it is the patience that eventually pays for it,” Kelong added.

Kelong advocated a more enforced regulation to bring sanity into the healthcare system.

He said the NHIS law is clear on how professionals within the healthcare system should be adequately catered for but the scenario has since changed.

“We want the insurance scheme to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. You cannot be a judge in your own case, “said Kelong.

He said: “Prescription comes out of hospitals to pharmacists. But in Nigeria we want a one stop shop where somebody sits and gets all the profit. That is why you see us crying because we want prescriptions to come from us.

“Go to some of the West African countries, their regulations is more effective than ours. Ironically, we have all the resources and personnel so we won’t normally have had anybody going for treatment abroad. But in a situation where things are not being done rightly under the pretext of Nigerian situation is not acceptable.”

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