• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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NHIS database captures 7.5m enrolees in 9 months


The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has declared as inspiring, recent improvement in enrolee uptake under the scheme, as it presses forward in its various efforts to attain the presidential mandate of providing health insurance coverage to no less than 40 percent of the Nigerian population by the end of 2015.

This is as Femi Thomas, the executive secretary of the Scheme, revealed that there has been a movement in the Scheme’s enrolees’ database from 5.5 million to about 7.5 million within the last nine months.

He made the revelation at a mid-term management retreat of the organisation which took place recently in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital.

According to the NHIS boss: “between 2011 and 2013, only about 600,000 lives were added to the Scheme’s database, while this year alone the number has grown by about two million.”

“This is by no means a small achievement, and we therefore congratulate everyone that has played a part in this major leap,” he said.

Thomas, who ascribed this success to the new culture of doing things right, reiterated the determination of the scheme to keep all its stakeholders on their toes, in the quest to maintain the highest professional and ethical standards in the implementation of its programmes.

This, he said, informed the recent engagement of a reputable international agency, Pricewaterhouse Copper (PwC), for an evaluation of the level of compliance of Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) with the standards set for the effective and unfailing delivery of quality services under the Scheme.

Thomas recalled that all the HMOs were given six months to remedy their lapses following revelations from the exercise, with a grace period of another month which ended on the last day of August 2014.

He stressed that as strategic intermediaries in the health insurance business, all HMOs are expected to be alive to their responsibilities at all times, by providing effective management of the relationship between the Scheme, the healthcare facilities and enrolees, rather than function only as fund disbursement agencies.

Thomas therefore declared that henceforth the scheme will only work with HMOs that satisfy all the requirements specified for their engagement in the health insurance business.

On another note, the NHIS Chief Executive reassured the nation that the scheme is undergoing a digitalisation process that will lead to the creation of the National Health Exchange.

According to him, “if you enrol and store the bio-data of Nigerians and you combined it with their encounter data that is currently being installed by the Scheme, you would have generated a national health data.

“If we do that for a very large population of Nigerians, then we will have that National Health Exchange of our dream,” Thomas stressed.

He called on Nigerians to sustain their faith in the Scheme, as it has been strategically restructured, realigned to achieve the onerous task of providing Universal Health Coverage for the country.

Kemi Ajumobi