Recently, the Nigerian health sector received a boost with the introduction of mHealth Insurance Wallet by PharmAccess Foundation. mHealth is a healthcare payment platform that connects payers, patients and healthcare providers.
The new mHealth Insurance Wallet delivers funds from public and private healthcare funders directly to patients and providers through a ‘‘health wallet’’ found on their mobile phone.
The mHealth Wallet was launched by Dr. Jide Idris, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health. A demonstration ceremony was held at Adefemi hospital in Ikeja Lagos, where the Country Director, PharmAccess Nigeria, Mrs. Njide Ndili made it known that the use of these funds will be restricted to conditional spending at the selected healthcare providers within defined geographic areas in the country.
Leveraging on the experiences gotten from the implementation of mHealth initiatives in countries like Ghana, Tanzania, and Kenya, PharmAccess Foundation and its partners stated that they realized the need for a solid, backend infrastructure to facilitate health payments and support a network of clinics where patients can utilize their health wallets for treatment.
”This platform can integrate with any prevalent digital payment system in a country, including banks, online payment systems and mobile money operators.”
Mrs. Ndili explained that the platform would boosts demand by connecting patients to health savings scheme benefits, and risk pooling opportunities at very low costs.
She explained that the platform would stimulate supply by strengthening the cost-efficiency of health providers’ service delivery through mechanisms like joint procurement systems, access to finance or capacity building. She further stated that the increased transparency and reduced risk and transaction costs make it more attractive to invest in health for various health funders and payers, who receive proof that their money is used for healthcare only.