The Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons With Disabilities, Mr James David Lalu has called on all Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) in Nigeria to make adequate provisions for special consideration of PWDs when they access healthcare services.
Head Press and Public Relations Unit Mbanefo John Michaels I in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday said it is in fulfilment of Part V(24) of the 2018 Discrimination of Persons With Disabilities (prohibition) law
The statement quoted the Executive Secretary to have made the disclosure while hosting the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) and some HMOs in his office, today 22nd February, 2023.
In his remarks, Lalu underpinned the importance of quality healthcare services for PWDs due to their conditions. He further said that some of them find it very difficult to access health insurance as a result of unemployment.
“Numerous Persons With Disabilities are very intelligent and are willing to work in order to earn a living but, do not have the opportunity” he stated.
The Commission helmsman pointed out that the law which mandates that 5% employment opportunity for PWDs across the board, will become fully operational by 16th January, 2024.
He also emphasized on the need to have sign language interpreters at various points of access to healthcare for easy communication between the physicians and the deaf community.
The Executive Secretary, therefore, seized the opportunity to urge the Health Management Organizations to review their workforce to include skilled PWDs who will empathize with members their community while seeking healthcare services in hospitals.
After the presentations by the invited Health Maintenance Organizations (Synergy Wellcare Medicaid limited, DOT Hmo limited and Regenix Healthcare Services limited), the Ag. Coordinator, National Health Insurance Authority, Mr. Theophilus Egwudoh interrogated the stance of the HMOs and urged them to be committed in their services to PWDs.
In the same vein, Mrs. Grace, a NHIA representative also informed the meeting that the narrative is changing and everyone must flow with the hands of time. She equally assured that the National Health Insurance Authority will not hesitate to delist any HMO that defaults in delivering the expected quality healthcare services.