AWARENESS OF THE NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE SCHEME AMONG EMPLOYEES IN SELECTED PUBLIC ORGANIZATIONS IN IBADAN, OYO STATE, NIGERIA.
Health insurance schemes are a vital aspect of the health care delivery to the citizenry in any civilized society. However, access to good quality and affordable healthcare services has continued to be a challenge in the Nigerian society, 14 years after the establishment of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). A major factor that may account for this is the awareness deficit regarding the operations of the NHIS. This study investigated the level of awareness of the NHIS among employees of selected public organizations in Ibadan. A semi-structured interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from 255employees.Ten in-depth interviews were conducted on the subscribers to the Programme and five key informant interviews were conducted on the operators of the scheme. Majority of the respondents (99.6%) were generally aware of the existence and objectives of the NHIS. However, respondents demonstrated inadequate knowledge in some key aspects of the Programme such as who constitute the statutory beneficiaries of the scheme (40%) and the coverage of the NHIS services (48.6%). Only 54.9% had adequate knowledge about hospitals available for NHIS registration. The dominant sources of information for respondents’ awareness of the NHIS were hospitals and colleagues. The NHIS needs to intensify awareness and expand its sensitization programmes to ensure that respondents are provided with adequate knowledge of the Scheme.
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