Calls for inclusion of private sector in health insurance
The Guild of Medical Laboratory Directors, GMLD, has alerted that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, COVID-19 Intervention Fund was still not accessible to health facilities, especially, medical laboratories.
The GMLD also called for the inclusion of laboratory private sector in the health insurance service provision for Nigerians.
Disclosing these and other issues in a communique, after its National Council’s 4-Day Retreat in Abuja, they noted that the pandemic exposed inadequacies of the country’s testing capacities.
Noting that some of its members have joined the network to help ramp up testing for the disease, they urged all frontline health workers to increase compliance and observe the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, protocols, and guidelines for COVID-19.
The communique jointly signed by the National President, GMLD, Prince Elochukwu Adibo, National Vice President, Dr. Amina Suleiman and the National Secretary, Samuel Oludare Fele also observed the non-inclusion of laboratory private sector in health insurance service provision.
They called on the leadership of the Nigeria Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, to revise their operations and operational guidelines, adding that GMLD laboratories were committed to the principle of universal health coverage.
“Nigeria private medical laboratories possess installed capacity that is grossly under-utilized by the healthcare system including managed care, NHIS/States health insurance schemes, public health disease management/surveillance among others. The federal ministry of health and agencies should therefore leverage and optimise this available capacity.
They also called for the review of multiple taxations in the health sector in order to alleviate the burdens of small-scale practices like private laboratories.
The theme of the retreat focuses on “Persistent Sickle Cell Disease in Africa – The Role of Private Laboratory Sector”.
The GMLD insisted that the laboratory private sector can bring about the way forward by conducting pre-marital counselling, qualitative and qualitative haemoglobin Hb-electrophoresis tests for neonatal and general diagnosis.
They pledged to maintain high professional and ethical standards in private medical laboratory practice by ensuring that test results are of the highest reliability while assisting the regulatory authorities to stamp out all forms of quackery and malpractice.