Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
Private hospitals based in Plateau state have lamented delay in remitting the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) monthly capitation scheme of the federal government policy on health maintenance organizations to the affected private hospitals.
The Chief Medical Director of Sauki Hospital in Jos, Dr. Daniel Gana, raised the alarm while fielding questions with reporters yesterday in Jos.
Gana, who was a former Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Plateau State Branch, said that the federal government pledged to ensure that more Nigerians come under to cover of NHIS monthly capitation under the National Health Insurance Scheme Act Cap N42, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 which is aimed at providing easy access to healthcare for all Nigerians at an affordable cost through various pre – payment systems.
He explained that the federal government initiated the NHIS in 2006, adding that its intention was the universal health coverage so that all Nigerians would be covered by health insurance.
He further said that the first phase was the federal civil servants and those who work as the employees of the federal government who constitute about one percent of Nigerian population at the time it was established.
Gana emphatically said that the federal government only supervises the scheme through the NHIS office in Abuja but does not implement the scheme but monitors the scheme that are private companies and organisations.
He said that the scheme introduced by General Olusegun Obasanjo has been working for the past 10 years flawlessly but has hiccups in 2017.
According to Gana, “We learnt from reliable information that the HMOs (Health Maintenance Organisations) “are always paid upfront by the federal government every quarter because as an insurance scheme, whoever owns a car now, you have to insure it upfront to cover you. The same rule applies in health insurance.
“But from this 2017, the HMOs are only paid for January. And as an insurance scheme, they are even supposed to pay from the beginning of the month. Providers like me and others were not paid at the beginning of January. We were only paid the third week of January for insurance cover we had given civil servants from the beginning of January 2017.”
He said as of now, “February 24, 2017, the hospitals nationwide have not been paid for February month. So, one can describe what the hospitals are doing now as just humanitarian services that we are rendering because we are not supposed to give cover because we have not been paid.”
Gana’s counterpart at the New Era Clinic and Hospital, at Apata in Jos North, Dr. Tajudeen Yusuff, corroborated his claim, saying however that February payment was just being paid.
Yusuff asserted that in most cases they are not paying the hospitals concerned at the same time. “I would not want to say whether they are selective or not, but as far as I am concerned, “New Era Clinic has received capitation for last month up to date. The only capitation we have not received is this February.
“And about two hours ago, one of the HMOs had actually paid New Era capitation he had just seen the alert. So, we are still expecting for the other HMOs for February as at now.”