AN ASSESSMENT STUDY OF THE KNOWLEDGE AND PERCEPTION OF FEDERAL CIVIL SERVANTS
National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is a system of healthcare financing introduced by Federal Government of Nigeria to help reduce the risks and minimize the costs of healthcare. Since its inception, only the Formal Sector Social Health Insurance Programme (FSSHIP) has comprehensively taken off. This study investigated the knowledge and perception of Federal Civil Servants in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Federal Capital Territory (FCT). A sample size of 383 Civil Servants were selected. The instrument for data collection was a researcher – designed 30 item questionnaire. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages, mean and standard deviation. Hypotheses were tested using inferential statistics such as student’s t-test and Chi-square. Findings showed that majority of the civil servants (56.3%) had fair knowledge of NHIS programme. The civil servants had a positive perception of the NHIS programme (Overall Mean = 2.81). Majority of the respondents (60%) accessed care under the scheme. Findings from the study also showed that the civil servants who utilized the scheme had a better perception of the programme (mean = 2.84) when compared to those who didn’t (P = 0.038). Education was significantly associated with knowledge and positive perception of the programme. There was no association between grade level and knowledge of NHIS programme. In addition, their perception of the programme was not dependent on their gender. The study concluded that intensified campaign on the objectives, benefits and workings of the scheme should be ensured. This should be facilitated by the nurses and use of mass media in order to reach a vast majority of the workforce and enhance their perception of the programme.
Background to the Study
Health system are designed to improve the standard of health care of the population. Improved funding and management of health systems lead to social stability. Population’s coverage is a clear indicator of the performance of the health system. The policy of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) aims at increasing coverage of the Nigerian population. Health insurance as a health care financing mechanism has become a sought-after approach to the problem of financing healthcare all over the. world. The current concern with financing, and the specific interest in health insurance is often the result of parallel trend; the recognition of basic healthcare for all citizens as a fundamental human right on the one hand, and the difficulties faced by governments in developing and maintaining resources to provide health care through general taxation revenue on the other (Mgbe & Kelvin, 2014). World Health Organization (WHO) has been giving tremendous support and cooperation to nations that pursue their citizen’s welfare through health insurance. They further noted that, nations equally are channeling large chunk of their budget to the attainment of good health for their people.
Health insurance can be categorized as social (or government) health insurance and private health insurance. Where a system is financed by compulsory contributions mandated by law or taxes and the system provisions as specified by legal status, it is social (or government) health insurance plan. On the other hand, private health insurance is usually financed on a group basis but most plans also provide for individual policies (Adeoye, 2015).