As practical expression of its avowed determination to stabilise the health insurance industry by repairing all breaches of the law and operational processes, the new Governing Council of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has embarked on a programme of stakeholder engagements.
The latest of such activities took place recently at the head office of the organisation in Abuja, attended by members of the Governing Council, Management of NHIS and representatives of critical stakeholders of the sub-sector.
In her remarks at the interactive session, the Chairman of the Governing Council, Dr. Enyantu Ifenne, reiterated the resolve of the Council to honour the place and voice of all stakeholders in the new dispensation, while stressing that the breaches and outright disregard of obligations and duties as witnessed in the past will no longer be tolerated.
Dr. Ifenne regretted the poor quality of service under the Scheme in the past resulting in erosion of public confidence, enrolee dissatisfaction and demotivation of some sections of service providers.
She therefore declared that the stakeholder engagements of the Council is aimed at identifying the challenges on the different fronts, with the intention to find acceptable solutions to them.
She reminded all that the singular gauge of the success of the different stakeholders and the industry as a whole was the degree to which the enrolee was satisfied with the quality of service provided in the system.
The Executive Secretary of the Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf in his comments during the interaction, observed that all stakeholders are jointly culpable for the degeneration in the
system, as they tolerated abuses and breaches of confidence for far too long, noting that dutiful observance of relevant laws and operational guidelines by all was the only way forward.
Issues canvased at the meeting for necessary and urgent attention towards speedily revamping quality of service provision within the industry, thereby recovering public confidence, include a review of the enabling laws and guidelines as well as existing tariffs and capitation, a reaccreditation of service providers to ensure that only competent players are on board, the urgent need to develop new innovative programmes to grow the Scheme’s enrolee base, and a robust and world-class ICT platform that will guarantee the accuracy and integrity of data.
Other matters considered include increased awareness creation, manpower quality and the need to exclude tertiary health institutions from primary healthcare.
The Governing Council is expected to take the engagements to Zonal and State levels in the immediate future, for effective assessment of the challenges facing operations of the Scheme at those levels.
Stakeholders groups represented at the meeting were the Healthcare Providers Association of Nigeria (HCPAN), the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN) and the Medical Science Laboratory Association of Nigeria (MSLAN).
Head, Media & Public Relations Division