By Patrick Ochei
The Association of Nigeria Private Medical Practitioners (ANPMP), Delta State Chapter has lauded the State Government for effective performance of the Health Insurance Scheme, describing the establishment of Delta State Contributory Health Commission as an initiative worthy of its creation.
The Association during a courtesy visit to the Commission’s headquarters in Asaba, led by its State Chairman, Dr. Clement Emudainohwo, stated that the duly registered and well structured ANPMP was well pleased with the State Government’s effort to get every citizen covered under the Health Insurance Scheme.
He affirmed that such policy of Government would go a long way in enhancing the universal health coverage.
However, the Association pointed out some challenges like the issue of unrealistic capitation, low premium by enrollees and late payment of capitation, which they said they had come for the Commission to address.
Dr. Emudainohwo further explained that the capitation needs to be increased, measures put in place to address low premium which invariably is affecting deliverables in health services, and then ensure quick payment of capitation on monthly basis to enhance business optimisation.
Perhaps, he called on the Commission not to look away from punishing erring facilities who are breaching the codes of operation, while also appealing to the Commission to throw its weight behind the Association to ensure that all Private Medical Practitioners come to identify and register with it.
In his response, the Director General of the Commission, Olorogun Dr. Isaac Akpoveta appreciated the Association for visiting and agreeing to the enormous achievements of Government in the Health sector through the Contributory Health Commission.
He hinted that Delta State Contributory Health Commission is number one in the country in terms of structure, organisation, ICT and others, while also noting that, like every human organisation, the Commission has its own deficiency.
According to him, “Capitation is low because the concept behind it is different. The problem is not the unit of capitation but the multiplying factor of capitation. All we have done is to address capitation from the point that it benefits the hospitals and the society.
“During a workshop programme of all MDAs put together by Government, on our part of what to do to enhance the MORE Agenda of Government, we stated that we are going to increase the enrollees number from the current 1.8m to 2.8m before the end of 2024. We wish to increase the informal sector enrollees by 40 percent and push them to private hospitals so they can have a good number to attend to.
“The issue with the delay in paying capitation is not entirely our fault but as a result of slow premium payment. We pay capitation based on the inflow of premiums. Again, it was affected during the period of transition, when the Board was dissolved and another inaugurated; and the new one also needed to settle down”, he affirmed.
Furthermore, the DG urged the Association to key into the Commission’s initiative of ‘Indigent Enrollees Adoption Initiative’ by registering vulnerable persons, including their staff into the Health Insurance Scheme as their Corporate Social Responsibility.
In a nutshell, he asked the private facilities to help in marketing the health insurance scheme more than even the field agents of the Commission.
He said, “For agents that abandon their stations or demand for money to register people, we will stop them forthwith. My appeal to you is to treat your patients like your brothers and sisters in line with the professional ethics. Also, don’t demarket us; give adequate services to our enrollees and be a model for the scheme. Give them good drugs and treat them nicely. One of our hallmarks is ‘efficiency’. You must desist from sharp practices. If you treat our patients well, they will be happy to refer others to the scheme and be glad to pay premiums. Thanks for your anticipated cooperation in this regard”, Akpoveta posited.