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HMOs Return 92% NHIS Funds
• ICPC, agency intensify war against graft
Paul Obi in Abuja
Following frantic efforts to rid the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) of corruption, about 92 per cent of funds meant for NHIS have been returned by Health Management Organisations (HMOs).
This was made known during a parley between the NHIS and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja.
NHIS Executive Secretary, Prof. Usman Yusuf, assured ICPC officials of his readiness to combat corruption, inefficiency and impunity to a stand-still in the scheme.
To that end, Yusuf explained that “HMOs has retuned over 92 per cent of the money owned to NHIS.”
The Executive Secretary also decried “the irregularities operated among the HMOs and ill-treatment enrollee’s encounter in receiving services at the hospitals,” stating that, “the institution had not done well in the past, given that some Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) and healthcare providers’ treats enrollees like lepers.”
Yusuf contended that his mandate as the Executive Secretary is “to be a good custodian of people’s wealth and by extension sanitize the NHIS and make it work for everybody.
“I have a duty to reposition this noble institution that all Nigerians can be proud of,” the executive secretary stated.
He added: “The meeting is geared towards consensus building and support among stakeholders towards repositioning the scheme for effective service delivery.
Yusuf stressed that NHIS as an institution has paid so much money to the HMOs from 2005 till date and there is nothing to show for it.
The executive secretary then called on the leadership of ICPC to commence the process of probing the activities of NHIS and HMOs, who in one-way-or-other have defrauded the system and shortchanged enrollees.
He further reaffirmed that there was no way “we can achieve universal coverage if we continue to give our resources to people that do not deserve it,” stating that he would be the face of NHIS and the advocate of the enrollees.
Yusuf, however, requested the full cooperation and support of the leadership ICPC to purge the endemic corruption that is embedded in NHIS.
Speaking, the Chairman of ICPC, Ekpo Nta, who was represented by the commission’s Secretary, Dr. Elvis Oglafa, commended the scheme for his sincerity and doggedness in the fight against corruption in NHIS and repositioning the scheme for better service delivery.
He assured the management of NHIS of ICPC’s support in the fight against corruption in NHIS.
In another development, the Executive Secretary while on a courtesy call to the Comptroller General of Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, assured the him that NHIS would continue to provide easy and qualitative health service to men and officer of the immigration and their families.
The Comptroller General likewise assured NHIS on the need to work together with the scheme to ensure prompt service delivery.