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Year : 1998  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 97-99

Awareness and perception Of The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) among Nigerian health care professionals

1 Active Health Managers Ltd, 107B Ikeja Way, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi Lagos
2 Department Of Community Medicine, University Of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu

Correspondence Address:
C O Akpala
Depatment of Community Medicine University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, P.M.B 01129 Enugu

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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A National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was launched in Nigeria in 1997 with the major aim of mobilizing additional sources of funds as well as expanding and improving access to health care. Health professionals such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists and medical laboratory scientists can play a crucial role in the successful implementation of the NHIS through their influence on the nature, quantity, quality and cost of health care. This study was therefore conducted to assess the level of awareness, perception and attitudes of Nigerian health care professionals towards the NHIS. Six hundred and ninety seven health professionals practicing within the south-east geo-political zone of the country were recruited into the study. Majority of the respondents were practising in either university teaching/specialist hospitals (35.1%) or private clinics/hospitals (20.5%). Approximately 73% of the respondents had heard of the NHIS. Their main source of information on the NHIS were newspapers (39.8%) and Radio/TV (37.2%). Only 12.2% of the respondents knew who the scheme will cover. Sixteen percent of the respondents knew that providers will be paid either by capitation or fee-for service mechanism. In terms of the attitudes of the health professionals to the NHIS, 88.1% believed that the scheme will improve health care in Nigeria while 91.4% were willing to participate in the scheme. Only 8.9% were satisfied with the level of information available to health care providers. Sixty eight percent of the respondents believed that the scheme should cover the entire population compared to only 12.2% who believed that the scheme should be restricted to those on the formal wage sector. Eighty-four1 percent of the health professionals want the scheme to cover all aspects of health care ranging from primary to tertiary care. The implications of the misconceptions and inadequate knowledge on the NHIS among health care professionals is discussed.

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