NHIS de­fies reps, be­gins HMOs reac­cred­i­ta­tion

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Nu­rud­deen M. Ab­dal­lah

The Na­tional Health In­sur­ance Scheme (NHIS) yes­ter­day an­nounced the com­mence­ment of reac­cred­i­ta­tion of Health Main­te­nance Or­gan­i­sa­tions (HMOs) in de­fi­ance of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives res­o­lu­tion ask­ing it to stop the process.

The agency an­nounced reac­cred­i­ta­tion process in a paid ad­ver­to­rial pub­lished by some news­pa­pers yes­ter­day, de­spite the law­mak­ers’ res­o­lu­tion last month or­der­ing sus­pen­sion of the process.

“In pur­suance of its statu­tory re­spon­si­bil­ity, Na­tional Health In­sur­ance Scheme (NHIS) has di­rected all HMOs to ob­tain let­ters of non-in­debt­ed­ness from all health care providers on their net­work, as one of the pre­req­ui­sites for reac­cred­i­ta­tion of the HMOs,” the agency said in the ad­ver­to­rial.

The NHIS urged “Health care providers to fully co­op­er­ate with the HMOs, and is­sue the let­ters of non­in­debt­ed­ness, us­ing the ap­proved tem­plate as to the HMOs.”

This is com­ing about a month af­ter the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives or­dered the sus­pen­sion of the HMOs reac­cred­i­ta­tion and im­me­di­ate re­call of the sus­pended Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary of the agency, Pro­fes­sor Us­man Yusuf.

On July 7, the law­mak­ers passed a res­o­lu­tion which re­quested “The min­is­ter of health and the Act­ing Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary to stop hence­forth ev­ery process of HMOs re-ac­cred­i­ta­tion, pend­ing the out­come of the on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion man­dated by the House. Re­quest the min­is­ter to re­call Prof Yusuf from sus­pen­sion forth­with and al­low him to con­tinue with his sani­ti­sa­tion programme in the agency.”

The health min­is­ter has not com­plied with the law­mak­ers’ or­der of re­call­ing the sus­pended NHIS chief.

The House said the sus­pen­sion of the NHIS boss was ‘un­ac­cept­able and ab­surd’ be­cause it was done fol­low­ing ev­i­dence he gave be­fore a com­mit­tee of the House in­ves­ti­gat­ing ac­tiv­i­ties of HMOs in the coun­try.

Yusuf had in June told the House Com­mit­tee on Health­care Ser­vices dur­ing the in­ves­tiga­tive hear­ing that HMOs squan­dered over N351 bil­lion in 12 years and that they do not pay monies to ser­vice providers de­spite col­lect­ing same from NHIS.

The health min­is­ter had sus­pended Prof Yusuf over al­le­ga­tions of “pro­cure­ment of a N58 mil­lion SUV” and “cor­rupt ex­pen­di­ture of N292 mil­lion” on health care train­ing “with­out re­course to any ap­pro­pri­ate ap­prov­ing author­ity.” The NHIS boss has de­nied any wrong­do­ing.

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