By Talatu Maiwada
Abuja – The Governing Council of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has given two weeks` remedial window ‘ to Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) that failed to meet the criteria for re-accreditation.
A statement by Mr Ayo Osinlu, NHIS Head of Media and Public Relations Division, issued in Abuja on Monday, said Chairman of the council, Dr Enyantu Ifenne, made the announcement at an interactive session with HMO operators.
Ifenne urged the de-listed HMOs to take advantage of the remedial window to rectify their deficiencies, and those on provisional re-accreditation to also improve their status so as to obtain full accreditation.
“It is not on the agenda of the council to humiliate strategic stakeholders or hurt their businesses.
“Rather, the council was unanimous and resolute to apply appropriate laws to ensure that required standards of practice are upheld, while provisions of applicable operational guidelines are observed responsibly by stakeholders.
“This is the only way to ensure that rights and privileges of enrolees are guaranteed at all times, especially at every point of service in their legitimate pursuit of effective healthcare,’’ he said.
The chairman assured that the process of the re-accreditation was thorough, painstaking, and completely devoid of punitive under-currents.
Ifenne therefore advised the operators to take up the challenge by upgrading their practice, in order to restore public confidence in the healthcare financing industry.
She added that the NHIS would continue to work diligently to address all issues affecting the interest of enrolees and protect their rights and privileges.
Ifenne however, admitted that the NHIS has not been apt in some aspects of its responsibilities, which has resulted in an accumulation of regulatory failures, adding that such development would be confronted vigorously by the council.
Also, Prof. Usman Yusuf, the NHIS Executive Secretary, stated that he was determined to lead a rebirth of the scheme.
Usman said appropriate standards would be adhered to by all stakeholders, while assuring enrollees of quality health care service.
Speaking on behalf of the HMOs, Dr Ladi Awosika appealed that the HMOs be also protected and for assistance to defaulting stakeholders to allow them meet up with required the standards.
He also called on the NHIS to always respond promptly to requests and inquiries from stakeholders at all times.
NAN reports that Ifenne had on April 5, revealed that only one out of 57 HMO’s fully met the criteria for re-accreditation, while 33 were offered provisional accreditation and 23 others de-listed from the scheme