The Implications of health financing for health access and equity in Nigeria

Health financing is an important function of the health system and plays a key role in enabling progress towards Universal Health Coverage by improving effective service coverage and ensuring adequate financial protection from impoverishment arising from health services utilization. Nigeria adopted the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in 2005 to improve financial risk protection and services utilisation, however as of 2021, the scheme only covered 4% of the population. This means a significant proportion of the population remains at risk of incurring catastrophic health expenditures. In this study the author addresses the implications of the current healthcare financing in Nigeria on access and equity and based on the findings made the following recommendations;  

  • need to strengthen the NHIS through policy reform to embrace fund pooling/risk-sharing
  • subsidization for the poor and the vulnerable
  • mandatory enrolment
  • and reducing fragmentation of NHIS.


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Adelakun Edward Odunyemi