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Payment for Health Care and Perception of the National Health Insurance Scheme in a Rural Area in Southwest Nigeria

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  • Department of Community Medicine, Bowen University, Iwo, Nigeria; Department of Community Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria; Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Department of Community Medicine, Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, Nigeria; Department of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Health insurance coverage of the informal sector is a challenge in Nigeria. This study assessed the methods of payment for health care and awareness about the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) among members of selected households in a rural area in the southwest of Nigeria. Using a multistage sampling technique, a semi-structured, pretested interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from 345 households. The majority of the people still pay for health care by out-of-pocket (OOP) method. Awareness about the NHIS in Nigeria was poor, but attitude to it was encouraging; and from the responses obtained, the people implied that they were willing to enroll in the scheme if the opportunity is offered. However, lack of trust in government social policies, religious belief, and poverty were some of the factors that might impede the implementation and expansion of the NHIS in the informal sector. Stakeholders should promote socioculturally appropriate awareness program about the NHIS and its benefits. Factors that might present challenges to the scheme should be adequately addressed by the government and other stakeholders associated with prepayment schemes in Nigeria.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to David A. Adewole, Department of Community Medicine, Bowen University, Iwo, Nigeria. E-mail: ayodadewole@yahoo.com

Financial support: The study was solely funded by the author David A. Adewole.

Authors' addresses: David A. Adewole, Department of Community Medicine, Bowen University, Iwo, Nigeria, E-mail: ayodadewole@yahoo.com. Ayodeji M. Adebayo, Department of Community Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, E-mail: davidsonone@yahoo.com. Emeka I. Udeh, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria, E-mail: ihechiudeh@yahoo.com. Vivian N. Shaahu, Department of Community Medicine, Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, Nigeria, E-mail: vhshaahu@yahoo.com. Magbagbeola D. Dairo, Department of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, E-mail: drdairo@yahoo.com.

Reprint requests: Department of Community Medicine Bowen University, Iwo, Nigeria; Department of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria; Department of Surgery, Urology Unit, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Department of Community Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria; Department of Community Medicine, Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, Nigeria.

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