The Health Management Organizations (HMOs) operating in Nigeria have been issued a strong warning to treat enrollees of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) with care or be prepared to be de-listed from the scheme.
Addressing a standing committee meeting of HMOs in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Dr Usman Yusuf, said the scheme has failed to impact positively on the health of Nigerians due to corrupt practices by HMOs.
Dr Yusuf also warned medical doctors to live up to expectation by treating subscribers with utmost care, adding that the enrollees remain the focus of the health insurance scheme.
The Chairman of Health and Managed Care Association of Nigeria, however, disagreed with Dr Yusuf, saying the failure of the regulator is responsible for the state of the scheme in Nigeria.
The Federal Government has concluded arrangements to ensure that as from September 2014, all pupils in primary schools across the country would have unlimited access to healthcare delivery services at no cost, in a concerted effort to reduce infants and maternal mortality rate in the country.
Beyond this, Nigeria is also set to be the first in the world to begin the practice of full deployment of mobile insurance scheme starting from next week Monday in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr Femi Thomas, disclosed this to Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke, during a courtesy call at the Government House in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
Dr Femi Thomas said that he was in the state to sensitize the various stakeholders of the new programmes introduced in the scheme, for them to be more aware and in turn prepare to accommodate this development.
He maintained that the scheme has also being expanded to accommodate pregnant women and children, as well as the vulnerable in the state alongside flexible payment plans for other users of the scheme.
Responding, Governor Liyel Imoke said that one of the key challenges of healthcare delivery in the country has been the cost, but with the insurance scheme and its new packages, access to qualitative treatment would become possible.
Governor Imoke noted that the new plans by the scheme would lead to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Nigeria, and urged the Federal Government to guard against fraudulent actions.