Nigeria Health Care System
Health care provision in Nigeria is a concurrent responsibility of the three tiers of government in the country.Private providers however also have a visible role to play in health care delivery.
The federal government's role is mostly limited to coordinating the affairs of the university teaching hospitals, Federal Medical Centres (tertiary health care) while the state government manages the various general hospitals (secondary health care) and the local government focus on dispensaries (primary health care), which are regulated by the federal government through the NPHCDA.
Historically, health insurance in Nigeria can be applied to a few instances: free health care provided and financed for all citizens, health care provided by government through a special health insurance scheme for government employees and private firms entering contracts with private health care providers. However, there are few people who fall within the three instances.
In May 1999, the government created the National Health Insurance Scheme, the scheme encompasses government employees, the organized private sector and the informal sector. Legislative wise, the scheme also covers children under five, permanently disabled persons and prison inmates. In 2004, the administration of Obasanjo further gave more legislative powers to the scheme with positive amendments to the original 1999 legislative act.
The government did not end there. In 2006 a National Health Policy (NHP) was adopted as part of the effort to strengthen the national health system. NHP seeks to establish a realistic health financing system that has the capability of meeting health system goals of improved health status of Nigerians; financial protection of citizen against cost of illness; fair financing of health services; and responsiveness to the citizens’ expectations. This plan includes the implementation of the re-designed National Health Insurance System (NHIS).