NHIS Cautions Health Insurance Stakeholders Against Profligacy
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has reiterated its resolve to remove every impediment that may militate against the smooth achievement of Universal Health Coverage in the country.
The acting Executive Secretary of the regulatory agency, Mr. ‘Femi Akingbade, stated this while inaugurating a committee in his office .
He said the Scheme was guided in this resolve by the rights of the people to good health and general social well-being, as well as the posture of the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to guarantee that all Nigerians have unfettered access to high quality of life.
According to Akingbade, the quality of the nation’s human capital is significant in the determination of the socio-economic prosperity of the country, making it imperative for the government to continually create opportunities for the improvement of the human capital base.
He therefore advised all stakeholders of the health insurance industry in Nigeria to commit themselves faithfully to their roles and responsibilities, especially as outlined in the Operational Guidelines of the Scheme, noting that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Akingbade emphasised that the Scheme in the new dispensation will take seriously its duty to protect the rights and privileges of all stakeholders, particularly the enrolees.
The NHIS Boss, who reminded players in the industry that the two most fundamental determinants of progress and success in health insurance are service-user satisfaction and enrolee uptake growth, warned that the Scheme will henceforth act firmly in matters of quality assurance and enforcement of prescribed standards.
He hinted further that the Scheme under his watch will no longer hesitate to apply maximum sanction against those who betray the trust of the government, the Scheme and the enrolee, by acts amounting to dereliction of duty and sundry sharp practices such as mismanagement of funds.
He frowned particularly against some Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), who receive public funds from NHIS for the purchase of healthcare for enrolees but end up not paying healthcare providers for services.
He described this practice as outright theft, ungodly, callous and irresponsible, and will henceforth attract severe sanction from the Scheme.
Akingbade, who said that two HMOs were recently sanctioned for related offences, said the negative impact of such profligacy, if unchecked, would be severely felt in critical areas like growth and improvement of infrastructure, equipment and medical consumables in hospitals, as well as availability and quality of service to the enrolees.
He observed that those who are guilty are already fighting back at the Scheme and its leadership, but promised that there will be no respite until the full integrity of the industry is restored.