ORGANIZATION AND FINANCING OF PRIMARY HEALTH CARE IN NIGERIA: PROBLEMS, ISSUES, AND ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES
The way a country finances its health care system is a critical determinant for reaching universal health coverage (UHC). This is so because it determines whether the health services that are available are affordable to those that need them. In Nigeria, the health sector is financed through different sources and mechanisms. The difference in the proportionate contribution from these stated sources determine the extent to which such health sector will go in achieving successful health care financing system. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, achieving the correct blend of these sources remains a challenge. This review draws on relevant literature to provide an overview and the state of health care financing in Nigeria, including policies in place to enhance healthcare financing. We searched PubMed, Medline, The Cochrane Library, Popline, Science Direct and WHO Library Database with search terms that included, but were not restricted to health care financing Nigeria, public health financing, financing health and financing policies. Further publications were identified from references cited in relevant articles and reports. We reviewed only papers published in English. No date restrictions were placed on searches. It notes that health care in Nigeria is financed through different sources including but not limited to tax revenue, out-of-pocket payments (OOPs), donor funding, and health insurance (social and community). In the face of achieving UHC, achieving successful health care financing system continues to be a challenge in Nigeria and concludes that to achieve universal coverage using health financing as the strategy, there is a dire need to review the system of financing health and ensure that resources are used more efficiently while at the same time removing financial barriers to access by shifting focus from OOPs to other hidden resources. There is also need to give presidential assent to the national health bill and its prompt implementation when signed into law.