" /> //pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js
Published On: Mon, Jul 10th, 2017

How HMOs plotted NHIS boss’ sack


Weeks after the Senate launched investigations into his activities as the NHIS chief, the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (HHIS), Prof Usman Yusuf, was Thursday suspended, Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewale has confirmed.
Mr. Yusuf, 54, took over the state-run health insurance provider on July 29, 2016. But his reign has been fraught with allegations of fraud.
The lawmakers accused Mr. Yusuf of “corrupt expenditure of N292 million” which he allegedly spent on healthcare training “without recourse to any appropriate approving authority.”
The NHIS chief, however, denied any wrongdoing, insisting that the allegations against him were unfounded.
“Who told you I have been suspended or that I did any sharp practices? The person should come forward with proofs,” he said.
But multiple sources in the NHIS and the Health Ministry confirmed that Mr. Yusuf received his suspension letter Thursday evening.
Yusuf had, however, accused Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) of mismanaging N351 billion paid them between 2005-2016 for the provision of health services to federal civil servants.
Speaking at a recent investigative hearing by the Chike Okafor-led House of Representatives Committee on Health Services on the compliance rate of HMOs to NHIS contributors and utilisation of funds by healthcare providers, Yusuf insisted that despite the huge sums paid HMOs in 12 years, they failed to pay hospitals as at when due, and this resulted in majority of enrollees being treated shabbily.
He vowed to recoup the N3.5 billion debt owed hospitals by HMOs, even as he revealed that the weeding out of ghost enrollees will save the Federal Government N288 million annual payment for these fictitious patients.
He claimed HMOs have been padding the number of enrollees they have with the complicity of NHIS staff in the ICT department, led by a former General Manager of the department, who later became Executive -Secretary of the NHIS.
“This is not hearsay. This has been investigated by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Department of State Services (DSS), and the reports are there,” Yusuf said.
In response, representatives of HMOs denied the allegations made against them by the NHIS boss and said he had often displayed “open hatred” towards them.
But a mild drama played out as HMOs were represented by two different associations.
Dr. Lekan Ewenla, who made a presentation on behalf of Health and Managed Care Association of Nigeria, stressed that Yusuf lacked proper understanding of the administration of health insurance.
“From day-one he (NHIS Executive-Secretary) has been displaying open hatred to HMOs. All the issues he raised are really about NHIS poor implementation of its regulatory role,” Enwela said.
Dr. Ademola Aderibigbe, who spoke on behalf of 10 HMOs under the Association of Health Maintenance Organisation and Practitioners of Nigeria, argued that not all service providers have been fraudulent as members of his association have strived to be up to date with payments to hospitals.
On his part, National Chairman of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, Dr. Albert Alkali, said the Federal Government is not blameless in the crisis between the managers of the National Health Insurance Scheme and Health Management Organisations in the country.
Alkali noted that NHIS managers had implemented policies that allowed corruption to thrive under the scheme. He spoke at a briefing in Lagos as part of activities leading to the ACPN 36th Annual Conference.
According to him, the global capitation method of payment gives room for funds to be embezzled by practitioners who want to cheat patients and other providers involved in the scheme.
He said, “Under the NHIS, one practitioner is given bulk payment to pay others. We know you cannot give a particular service provider money and expect him to give it to another service provider; he will want to retain everything.
“They had blocked the fee-for-service payment system that should have been the ideal method and this is why it failed. We should go back to the basis and straighten it, carry along all the health care providers and stop the sentiment of one provider taking everything.”
He said it was unnecessary to scrap the HMOs as suggested by the Federal Government, adding that their function was relevant to the scheme as they were the ones that sourced for enrollees.
Alkali said, “It is always easy to put the blame on HMOs but the NHIS that is supposed to play a regulatory role failed to uproot the bad eggs for it to serve as a deterrent to others.
“When the operators connive with the HMOs, they cannot carry out their regulatory role anymore and that is what brought us to where we are now. We want to move forward and Nigerians are tired of waiting, so both parties should fix the problem.”

READ  Cover Business Hallmark Monday, March 19, 2018.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Most Shared

Recent posts

  • Food Security: Sustainable cassava seed systems critical – IITA

    Scientists and experts in agriculture have converged on the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan to concretize efforts on ways to develop sustainable cassava seed systems in Nigeria. This according to them, would enable them to solve problems of low productivity and improve the livelihood of farmers while ensuring food security. Coordinator, Dr Hemant […]

  • Measles campaign in Oyo: Govt deploys over 8,000 officials

    The Oyo State Government has deployed over 8,000 officials for the 2018 Measles Immunisation across the state. The officials, numbering 8,351, will serve as House to House mobilisers, facilitators and town announcers. They will carry out the campaign from March 15 to March 27. The Commissioner for Health in the state, Azeez Adeduntan, while monitoring […]

  • Falana slams NNPC for failing to reveal financial information

    Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has criticised the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for rejecting a Freedom of Information request he made concerning the operations and finances of the corporation. Falana said the submission that the NNPC is not a public institution is embarrassing in that NNPC’s Counsel did not advert her mind to section […]

  • Exercise Cat Race: Troops nab 12 herdsmen in Benue

    The Nigerian Army on Sunday said 12 herdsmen have been arrested in Benue State. Channels TV reports that the suspects were arrested by troops of 707 Special Forces Brigade presently taking part in the Exercise Cat Race called Ayem Akpatuma in the state. They were arrested for alleged involvement in the destruction of farmlands in […]

  • Veto of Electoral Act: Saraki, Dogara vow appropriate response to Buhari’s amendment

    The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representative, Yakubu Dogara, have vowed to jointly give an appropriate response after President Muhammadu Buhari withheld his assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill. Spokespersons for the Senate President and Speaker, Yusuph Olaniyonu and Turaki Hassan, revealed this in a statement on Saturday. […]

  • North East: 3.8m benefit from WHO free healthcare

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it provided health interventions to 3.8 million people affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in northeast in the past one year. WHO said in its 2017 annual report that it coordinated health sector partners and reached 3.8 million people with health services. The agency said that it worked closely […]

  • Saraki mourns as Sen. Ali Wakili dies at 58

    The President of the Senate Dr. Bukola Saraki has expressed sadness over the death of Sen. Ali Wakili who was the chairman of the Senate committee on Poverty Alleviation. Wakili died at the age of 58 and his death has been confirmed by Saraki in a series of tweets to mourn his deceased colleague. Our […]

  • Pound recovers as World supports Britain in spy case

    The British pound recovered Friday from weakness prompted by a Russian decision to expel British diplomats, as the world rallied in support for London in a crisis sparked by the poisoning of a double agent, analysts said. World stocks, meanwhile, rose slightly at the end of a volatile week as fears lingered of a global […]

  • Akintoye: Killer herdsmen more dangerous than Boko Haram

    Historian, Professor Banji Akintoye, has supported the proposition that the Federal Government should declare killer herdsmen across the country as terrorists. According to him, they appear to be more dangerous than Boko Haram terrorists and therefore, must be stopped before their activities get out of hand. He addressed the issue when he appeared as a […]

  • Delta community lament poor health care system

    Residents of Bomadi and Ughelli North Local Government Areas of Delta state have raised serious concerns over what they’ve described as poor healthcare systems in their community. According to them, the Bomadi General Hospital is the only hospital that serves communities in the entire local government and its environs and for many months now, the […]

  • Niger Delta oil spills: Amnesty Int’l accuses Shell, Eni of negligence

    Rights group, Amnesty International, has faulted reports of oil spills in the Niger Delta by Shell and Eni, and is asking the Federal Government re-open investigations into 89 oil spills in the region. According to the group, the oil giants under-reported the number of spills in the last seven years and also attributed the causes […]

  • African Free Trade: FEC approves agreement

    Nigeria is set to sign the framework agreement for the establishment of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The Federal Executive Council (FEC) gave the approval on Wednesday during the weekly meeting chaired by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at the State House in Abuja. Consequently, Nigeria is expected to seal the agreement during […]

  • Buhari meets with NASS leaders

    President Buhari is currently in a closed-door meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly inside the Presidential Villa. Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara. Channels TV reports there has been no information yet about what the meeting is about. It, however, comes two days after the President […]

  • Gov Ajimobi: We used ‘Prayer Warriors’ to pick the Vice Chancellor of Tech-U

    By OLUSESAN LAOYE Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state stunned the audience including the large dignitaries and parents during the matriculation of over 1,000 pioneer students of the Technical University Ibadan Oyo state when he revealed that, because they wanted the best for the institution, they had to employ prayer warriors to make that possible. […]

  • Glaucoma: Optometric association canvasses free eye screening

    The Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) has called on the three tiers of government to provide free and mandatory glaucoma screening to reduce the burden of the disease on citizens. Dr Ngozi Nwanekezie, the Chairperson of NOA, FCT Chapter, made the appeal in a sideline interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at an “awareness […]

  • Wema Bank Promotes Financial Literacy in Schools

    As part of its effort to build a healthy savings culture amongst young Nigerians, Wema Bank visited several public schools across the country to educate students on the benefits of growing their financial knowledge and nurturing healthy investment habits which will serve them well in the future. Over 25 schools, spread across all six geographical […]