Kuni Tyessi, Abuja
The Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Professor Usman Yusuf, has averred to combat corruption, inefficiency and impunity to a standstill in the Scheme.
Yusuf stated this while leading management of NHIS on a courtesy visit to the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Barrister, Ekpo Nta in Abuja.
He explained that the meeting was geared towards consensus building and support among stakeholders towards repositioning the scheme for effective service delivery.
Yusuf further decried the irregularities operated among the HMOs and ill-treatment enrollee’s encounter in receiving services at the hospitals, saying that the institution had not done well in the past, adding that, some Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) and healthcare providers treat enrollees like lepers.
He called on the leadership of ICPC to commence the process of probing the activities of NHIS and HMOs, who in one-way-or-another have defrauded the system and shortchanged enrollees.
Yusuf hinted that HMOs has retuned over 92 per cent of the money owned to NHIS.
While responding, Nta, who was represented by Commissions’ Secretary, Dr. Elvis Oglafa, commended the Executive Secretary for his sincerity and doggedness in the fight against corruption in NHIS and repositioning the Scheme for better service delivery.
Similarly, Yusuf has solicited for support from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Engr. Babachir David Lawal, towards the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria.
Yusuf who made the appeal during a courtesy visit, lamented failure of some federal government agencies that are yet to key into the Scheme as stipulated in the NHIS Act, which mandates all Federal Government Agencies to subscribe to the NHIS.
He said the appeal became necessary considering the number of agencies that are yet to comply, which to a large extent hinders the success of the Scheme to cover more Nigerians.
In his remarks, the SGF pointed out that this government places a high priority on the health sector in Nigeria. He said that health is a social service that every responsible government must provide to its citizens, describing NHIS as a noble creation for the attainment of universal health coverage to all Nigerians.
The SGF advised the executive secretary to redouble his efforts in educating Nigerians about the Scheme. He also urged him to hold all stakeholders accountable in improving the quality of healthcare services in hospitals.
He assured the NHIS boss of his support in making the scheme work better for all Nigerians and that he will do his best in getting all federal government agencies to subscribe to the Scheme.