PPP critical to improving Nigeria’s healthcare – Onu

The Chief Medical Officer of NISA Garki Hospital, Adamu Onu, has said that the hospital’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) model offers the country lessons that government can build upon to improve access to quality and affordable healthcare for Nigerians.

Onu who stated on Friday, when the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the National Health Insurance Agency (NHIA) paid an oversight visit to NISA Garki Hospital Abuja, said the hospital has not gone strike for 17 years.

“The Public Private Partnership between NISA Premier and Garki Hospital, being the first of its kind in the Nigerian health sector, has successfully passed this test. Since its inception in 2007 till date, the hospital has not shut down for a single day, either due to strike action or any other,” Onu stated.

According to him, between August 2016 to July 2022, the hospital increased its NHIA enrollee figure from 16,836 to 35,555.

“Having served NHIA patients since 2007, NISA Garki hospital has expanded its operation to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with no strikes or interruptions in service,” he said.

He noted that the NISA Garki Hospital established in 1986, has been a shining example of a successful public-private partnership in healthcare delivery with its attendance to more than 2 million patient encounters, over 40 open heart surgeries, more than 26 kidney transplants, as well as subsidised IVF services and over 100 hip and knee joint replacement surgeries.

He however, highlighted some of the challenges the hospital is facing to include health insurance fraud, failure of HMOs in making prompt payments, denied claims and unsustainable tariffs.

In an interview with journalists, the Head of Health Financing at WHO, Joseph Kutzin said that government’s recent passage of the law to make health insurance mandatory on May 19 a step in the right direction

He said, “Speaking on the financing side, there are two conditions that are needed to move in that direction: one is the idea of compulsory automatic participation, the other is the provision of subsidies, so it is not right if people are forced to pay. There have to be subsidies provided to ensure that everybody can make it. However, there is no country in the world that can make progress by just putting in more money, how you use the funds is equally important.

“Systems have been put in place as we’ve seen in the hospital already, to control the approach to financing to get the best value for money. It’s a process that never stops.

“As well, new technologies have come on the market, demand is always greater than supply, there’s always going to be traitors but to the extent you have data unified, you can make these choices explicitly.

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