AXA Mansard Health Limited, a subsidiary of AXA Mansard Insurance Plc, has, once again, beamed the light on Universal Healthcare and Insurance as a panacea for the social and economic development of Nigeria. This position was echoed by experts and industry stakeholders at the recently concluded Wellvolution Conference in commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the company in Lagos.
With the theme, Wellvolution: Health for the Wealth of our Nation, the company said the significance of this conference at this time in Nigeria’s socio-economic journey is to spotlight people’s (the population’s) wellness as pivotal to sustainable national prosperity.
Giving her opening remarks at the virtual conference, Rashidat Adebisi, Chief Client Officer of AXA Mansard, noted that the theme of the conference speaks to how AXA Mansard Health intends to play its role in this next dispensation of its corporate existence and its commitment to draw attention to the urgency required to drive universal health coverage for Nigerians.
She commented, “Over six trillion naira is still paid out-of-pocket for healthcare in Nigeria, and insurance generally still contributes marginally to our nation’s GDP. So, leading and investing in mainstreaming conversations like this, which we hope will illuminate our nation’s path to universal health coverage, is a corporate and social responsibility that we intend to sustain”.
In his keynote, renowned economist Prof Pat Utomi noted that Health Insurance is a veritable platform for accessible healthcare delivery in Nigeria, explaining that “when health is lost, everything is lost.” “Community and rural health should be prioritized because health is not just wealth but prosperity for human progress,” he added.
On his part, Iyin Aboyeji, an entrepreneur in the Technology space, explained that with the help of technology, the healthcare system can metamorphose across shores, and health insurance can become more accessible to everyone.
“We are thinking about how to make diagnosis cheaper and increase remote consultations,” Aboyeji said.
Regarding brain drain, the Chief medical director of One Health Ltd, Dr. Misbah Oleolo, said the sector now needs to think about how to ‘phygitalize’ human capital; that is, bring back human capital physically, “and if we can’t do it physically, we need to think of a digitally enabling way of doing it.” He also stressed the importance of creating a new eco-system involving significant financial and moral investments into the industry like AXA does with OneHealth Hospital.
Speaking on rising costs and employer responsibilities, Gloria Ibeziako (Associate Director & Head of People, Performance & Culture (PPC), KPMG) stressed the importance of health insurance for employees and how it contributes to productivity at work. “When an employee knows that his/her employer cares about their health and well-being, he/she will do what needs to be done and will be willing to do extra as the company prioritizes their health too,” said Mrs Ibeziako.
Speaking on various strategies to ensure that health insurance is accessible to every Nigerian, Dr. Yakubu Agada, General Manager, National Health Insurance Authority – NHIA, Abuja, informed the audience that a ‘vulnerable group fund’ is being developed to make health insurance available to the vulnerable groups in Nigeria. “Sources of financing for these groups of people are currently being worked on,” he explained.
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