Review of NHIS policy necessary for babies with congenital challenges – Expert

A surgeon with the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Dr Samson Olori, recently said congenital problems of babies needed to be covered by policy of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Olori told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the scheme ought to have been reviewed by the Federal Government to encompass treatment of babies with such peculiar health challenges.
He explained that the scheme was geared towards enabling enrollees to access healthcare at critical times of need. “Some time ago, the National Health Insurance Scheme was set up with the intention that it would address some of the challenges including not having cash readily.

“But what we have found out is that children that have congenital abnormalities are not beneficiaries.
“A child was delivered, he has abnormal anus; he couldn’t pass stool because he has a condition called hespro disease.
“Now, we are to do operation. The father is enlisted into National Health Insurance Scheme but he was told that he could not access that care because it was excluded from the list.

“So, we will also appeal to government to consider reviewing the policies of NHIS to have a holistic coverage even as a diseased condition you should be able to access care; there should be no exclusion.

“As much as possible let’s try to enhance the practice of our National Health Insurance Scheme so that many people can afford it.
The surgeon said: “once parents can access health services through the NHIS, it will go a long way towards reducing the financial burden on them.”

Olori said that reviewing the NHIS policy to accommodate babies with congenital defects could also encourage parents to present other children for medical examination without minding the costs.

He also said it would facilitate the child’s treatment as the parents would not have to run helter-skelter for money.
Olori, therefore, called on both the government and the society at large to assist in making sure that NHIS policy considers babies with abnormalities. (NAN)

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