Published On: Fri, May 19th, 2017

Health Management Organisations operating without licenses- NHIS

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By Christiana Ekpa and Ikechukwu Okaforadi

The Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf, has told the Senate that Health Management Organizations(HMOs) in Nigeria were operating with expired licenses.
He further accused HMOs of misappropriating funds meant for healthcare services, adding that most of them were owing healthcare facilities huge sums of money.
Yusuf made this known at a one- day public hearing on a Bill for Act to Repeal the National Health Insurance Scheme and to enact the National Health Insurance Commission in Abuja.
He said the HMOs, which had been the bane in actualizing of the NHIS scheme, were currently operating without valid licenses.
“No HMO has ever been called by the Senate and House Committees to give account of their services. They should be accountable to our people. We continue to give them money and they form a cartel and have now taken over our treasure”
“NHIS has the potential to do a lot for our people and it has national security implication because we cover all men and women of the Armed Forces and security people. The survival of this agency is a national security imperative that we must all protect”
“Giving money to HMOs without asking them how they spend the money is worrisome. No HMO currently in this country has a valid license to practice it’s all expired but we continue to give them money”
“They are all indebted to Healthcare facilities nationwide running into billions. HMOs should be held more accountable, we need to strengthen the current Act of the NHIS rather than creating a brand new one and the whole idea is kill corruption,’’ he said.
On the bill, Yusuf said there was a need for wider consultation among stakeholders to ensure that the bill catered for issues not covered in the present act.
He urged the stakeholders to take critical look at current issues in the scheme in order to help find lasting solution to the problems.

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