[HEALTHCARE] MINISTER IN NIGERIA WANTS HMO’s SACKED FOR MISMANAGEMENT, SAY SOME DON’T HAVE LICENCES!

[HEALTHCARE] MINISTER IN NIGERIA WANTS HMO’s SACKED FOR MISMANAGEMENT, SAY SOME DON’T HAVE LICENCES!

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Thursday, 22 June 2017
ONE HEALTH

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, wednesday called for the scrapping of Health Management Organisations (HMOs) operating under National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for among other things, failing to deliver on their healthcare mandate.

 

He said a total sum of over N351 billion had been paid to the HMOs by the federal government within the past 12 years without measurable improvement in health care delivery for Nigerians.

 

Speaking at a two-day investigative hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Health Care Services, into the “compliance rate of the HMOs to the NHIS contributions and utilisation of funds by the health care providers and inhumane treatment of enrollees,” he said there was need for the National Assembly to amend the NHIS Act with a view to repositioning and strengthening the scheme.

 

Represented by the Director, Hospital Services, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Wapanda Balami, Adewole, said it may be necessary to eliminate HMOS from the scheme.

 

The minister’s position came as the Executive Secretary, NHIS, Prof. Yusuf Usman, also said about 59 HMOs currently do not have operating licenses since December last year, adding that reaccreditation was supposed to commence next month.

 

He regretted that the HMOs had never been called to account for their stewardship in the past 12 years.

 

He said: “More than 70 new born babies and over a 100 women die daily from avoidable mortality, even though they are on the scheme. Millions die across the states and there seemed not to be time to fight these anomalies until now. When I came to the agency, I saw the potential and I felt the NHIS should perform its duties of helping vulnerable Nigerians to access quality health care.

 

“The number of Nigerians covered by the NHIS after 12 years are 1.5 percent of the population. Countries like Kenya and Rwanda have achieved better health care delivery without HMOs and health care financing in Nigeria is nothing but a huge fraud.

 

“I know all these things because I signed the cheques and nobody has been brought to book in the last 12 years. If you want to hear the truth, hear it from me today, because my way of making the scheme work is to hold the HMOs accountable.

 

“We are told that they are powerful and untouchable because they are owned by some powerful Nigerians, but I have news for you that I’m here to rock the boat. We must sink this boat of corruption that has killed the health care sector of our country.”

 

He, further urged members of the committee to audit the HMOs with a view to finding out how many Nigerians have been deprived of their rights to quality health care.

 

He said: “Honourable members, these people are your constituents, and these guys operating the HMOs are owing them huge money. The NHIS is suppose to enhance the standard of health care delivery and crash the cost of health care in Nigeria, but covering just 1.5 per cent of Nigerians in 12 years, have we achieved the objective?

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