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Minister tasks Health Maintenance Organisations on quality healthcare delivery



The Minster of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has called on Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) to review their operations and business processes for effective and efficient healthcare delivery.

Ehanire, who was represented by Dr Omale Amedu, Director, Hospital Services, said this at the Strategic Stakeholders’ Engagement for HMOs, organised by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), on Thursday in Abuja.

He said reports had revealed that an overwhelming percentage of NHIS enrolees and health care providers had expressed grave concerns over the performance of HMOs.

Ehanire listed the areas of concern to include non-remittance of payments to healthcare providers, poor customer service delivery and inaccessibility to enrolees at critical moments of need.

He said that such collective concerns and many cases of service failure in the industry had resulted in poor service delivery, poor quality of care and worrisome reputation damage for the Scheme.

“All stakeholders of the NHIS are expected to take advantage of the reform mood of the regulatory body to critically examine themselves and their operations.

“This is the only way to remain relevant and reputable in the new NHIS we are building.

“These anomalies are no longer acceptable because this government is determined to get it right with NHIS in view of its strategic tool for effective and efficient healthcare delivery in the country.

“I, therefore, have no doubts that the HMOs will key into the reforms to rebrand NHIS by frankly addressing internal reforms within and among themselves.’’ he said.

Ehanire called on all stakeholders to take full advantage of the reforms in NHIS to engage in frank conversations around the issues that had limited the progress of the scheme in the past.

The minister commended the NHIS Executive Secretary, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, for ensuring that the scheme embarked on a process of rapid appraisals to identify challenges militating  growth and progress in the system.

On his part, Sambo said the delivery of affordable healthcare for all Nigerians was one of the key priority areas of President Muhammadu Buharis’s administration.

He said the objective of the forum was to interact with the HMOs to get first-hand information of their experiences and challenges while proffering solutions to ensure the scheme moved forward.

Sambo  urged the HMOs to work judiciously with renewed commitment so that the dream of quality healthcare for all Nigerians would be realised.

Dr Kayode Obembe, Chief Executive Officer, Premier Medicaid Nigeria Limited, (HMO), said it was important that all stakeholders come together to align with the vision and operational guidelines of NHIS.

Obembe said such would ensure all Nigerians, irrespective of their financial ability, gained access to quality healthcare.

He, however, said the HMOs were aware of the importance of enrolees’ satisfaction through quality healthcare delivery and called for cooperation toward prompt and adequate payment for services and abiding by operational guidelines.

Obembe said such factors would ensure that the objective of the scheme of Universal Health Coverage was achieved in record time.

Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Chukwudi Ekezie