Why we ignored Reps’ directive on HMO accreditation – NHIS

The National Health Insurance Scheme has given reasons why it continued with the accreditation of Health Management Organisations despite a resolution by the House of Representatives asking the NHIS to suspend the exercise .
The NHIS said suspending the exercise would have crippled the scheme and negatively affected patients across the country
The General Manager , Standard and Quality Assurance, Dr . Victor Amadi , said this during a media chat with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday .
Amadi added that the Minister of Health , Prof. Isaac Adewole , had given the agency the permission to continue with the accreditation .
He added , “As you all know , the NHIS runs a contributory scheme and those enrollees who contribute to the scheme have to be serviced . So , there is going to be programme or service failure if we discontinue it (accreditation ).
“ It is an ongoing thing and 57 HMOs which we want to accredit, their licences have all expired and so there is a need to re - accredit them and that is what is ongoing . The process has been ongoing for some time now and we have got the ministerial directive to go ahead with the programme . ”
Amadi said patients in over 13 , 000 hospitals across the country had benefitted from the scheme.
He, however , called on enrollees to report any problems, saying that was the most efficient way to check lapses .
Also speaking , the acting Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme , Mallam Attahiru Ibrahim , said the accreditation should end by November .
He said , “ We have commenced the process and it is going to last for the next two months because by the time we finish , we will send report to the ministry for approval . So , in order to pave the way for all these steps to be completed , it will take two months for everything to end which will be in November . ”
He also called on anti - graft agencies to immediately arrest corrupt officials , who , he said, were undermining the efficiency of the NHIS .
The NHIS boss took over in July after the substantive Executive Secretary, Prof . Usman Yusuf , was suspended by the minister following allegations of graft running into over N 900 m.
Also , the Senate and the House of Representatives are separately investigating the NHIS and HMOs for the alleged fraud which has prevented patients from accessing healthcare .
The House , which lambasted the minister for suspending the NHIS boss , demanded his immediate reinstatement and asked the agency to suspend all accreditation until after the probe .
Ibrahim admitted that there were some corrupt elements in the system but argued that it did not mean that all the members of staff of the agency were corrupt.
He said , “We want to assure the media and Nigerians that the scheme, as an institution , welcomes all attempts to check the excesses of errant stakeholders towards making the industry safer and stronger .
“ In the process , the scheme also strongly supports the rule of law whereby anyone found wanting in the course of the operations of the scheme, whether inside or outside , should be handed over to the agencies of government with the appropriate mandate to make such people accountable .
“ However, it must be stressed that the attempt to smear the corporate image of the scheme as a hub of corruption is untrue. Rather , it is those who have been abusing privileges around the scheme that should be identified and made to face the consequences of their action in full measure . ”