By Doris Obinna
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has given Garki Hospital, Abuja, a pass mark over the quality of its services, especially health insurance scheme. The pass mark came after a fact-finding team from the global health agency visited the hospital recently.
The team, led by Dr. Joseph Kutzin, head of health, financing and governance, from Geneva, came with officials of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), led by its director-general, Dr. Mohammed Sambo, to evaluate the success story of National Health Insurance Scheme in Nigeria.
The evaluators included the head, Health Financing, WHO Regional Office for Africa, Dr. Juliet Nabyonga, and three technical officers, namely, Fahdi Dkhimi, Kingsley Addai and Dr. Francis Ukwuije.
In a press statement made available to newsmen, the medical director, Garki Hospital, Dr. Adamu Onu, while receiving them, spoke extensively on the progress of the hospital since it was taken over by Nisa Premier Hospital on a public-private-partnership agreement in 2007.
Onu disclosed that, owing to the reforms carried out since 2016, the hospital presently has 35,555 National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) clients and 8,118 enrollees on the FCT health insurance register even as he bemoaned the fact that many Nigerians still find it hard to access quality health care.
He identified areas of improvement for Nigeria’s health insurance scheme as proper documentation of beneficiaries and their records as well as standardization to streamline areas of insurance coverage.
He said Garki Hospital has been able to cover the gap between quality health care and the people because of the success of the PPP arrangement, which enables the hospital to offer premium health services at affordable cost.
Since the concession agreement began in 2007, Onu said the hospital has treated more than two million patients, recorded more than 40 open heart surgeries, 26 kidney transplants with over 100 hip and knee joint replacement surgeries while subsidizing IVF services.
“We conduct training in family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, anesthesia and assisted reproductive technology as well as post graduate training across different specialties.”
“Two-third of the patients that use this hospital are on health insurance, so out of pocket patients are actually a minority and even the NHIS itself as acknowledge that and regard us as a model hospital for NHIS in the whole of this country.
“We have become so efficient that an NHIS or health insurance patient can see three specialists in one day. Here you can see the cardiologist, the neurologist and endocrinologist all in one day,” Dr Onu disclosed.
Kutzin on his part said the team came to Nigeria to explore ways of assisting in health financing with a view to promoting universal health care so that the poor and indigent can get equal access.
He also expressed satisfaction with the feat attained by Garki Hospital and asked questions on data management to improve services and turn-around periods.
“Garki Hospital has grown to be a hospital of choice in the FCT and beyond since it embraced the PPP model.
“It is amulti-specialty hospital, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities backed by a wide range of expertise and skilled personnel providing specialized and general care, in-patient and out-patient services. It has been a shining example of successful public-private partnership in health.”
Sambo, on an earlier visit to the hospital, praised the PPP model, which he said has manifested in efficient management of human and material resources. He promised to partner with the hospital in its cost-effective method for delivering healthcare.