Strategic Purchasing African Resource Centre (SPARC) hosted a delegation of general managers from Nigeria’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for a three-day study tour to share experience on how the Kenyan Government is working towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC), with lessons from the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) reforms, and explore future partnerships.
The NHIS delegation of three was; Dr Eke Jonathan Ndubuisi, General Manager Formal Sector; Mrs Asma’u S. Mohammed; Pharm. Mrs Chinasa Nma Agwunobi, Regional Manager, met with Dr Peter Kamunyo, NHIF Chief Executive Officer, senior members of the NHIF team, and Prof. Edwine Barasa, Director, Kemri Wellcome Trust Programme, who presented an overview of NHIF through the lens of strategic health purchasing.
During the visit, in relation to strategic health purchasing, Prof. Edwine emphasized the importance of a symbiotic relationship between the Government, purchasers and citizens in bridging the health insurance gaps caused by; 1) insufficient stewardship by the Ministry of Health, 2) a weak referral system and insufficient quality assurance systems coupled with deprived provider payment mechanisms for reimbursements, and 3) weak complaints, as well as feedback mechanisms for the benefit package development process. Prof. Edwine recommended strengthening the NHIF as a strategic health purchaser, including strengthening relationships between the Government and the NHIF, better-utilizing data collected on the ground, including stakeholders in decision-making, and creating transparency in reforms and payment methods.
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was established in 2004 with the mandate, vision, and mission of providing resources to purchase healthcare for all Nigerians—accelerating UHC goals strategically. The NHIS has undergone reforms over the years to become a government strategic health purchaser. This visit aimed to help the NHIS team better deal with the NHIS law’s non-mandatory nature, constitutional challenges, the country’s political structure, poverty level and low ability to pay, institutional fragility due to ongoing leadership changes, and quality issues.
On the final day of the study tour, NHIF Kenya organized a tour visit at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) NHIF offices for the NHIS team to gain a perspective of an inpatient’s journey to access services through the NHIF and how the claim’s process works.
Both teams shared key meeting takeaways and learnings; to be posted on the SPARC website in the coming weeks. For more information, please follow us on social media.
Click here to view the images from the visit.