By Abbas Aminu Bamalli
The Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr. Femi Thomas, has restated the determination of the Scheme not to hesitate to take major action against any stakeholder, particularly Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) found withholding capitation payment from health care facilities.
In a statement signed by its Head, Media and Public Relations, Ayo Osinlu said, Dr. Thomas reiterated this assurance when members of the National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), led by its president, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, paid him a courtesy visit recently in Abuja.
According to the NHIS boss in the statement, “we must not allow any stakeholder to strangulate the facilities who are the burden bearers of the health Insurance industry.”
The health care facilities, he said “must survive. And the only way they can survive is when they are paid their capitation as at when due. This, we at the NHIS will ensure”.
He told the delegation that as part of the process of ensuring probity in the system, the scheme is presently reconciling accounts of about six HMOs, while any of them found wanting will be answerable in accordance with the Act establishing the Scheme.
Thomas appealed to the NMA to show leadership, by calling on its members and other health workers in the public sector to begin to make their own contribution of 1.75% of their salary to the Scheme, to enable it pool enough resources for the expansion of coverage and the benefit package as is being clamoured for.
He used the forum to again assure the nation, that wide ranging reports are being implemented in the Scheme to connect NHIS to the many more people, as well as ensure greater quality of service delivery.