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Reps to probe funds ‘mismanagement’ in national health insurance

The House of Representatives has mandated its Committees on Insurance and Actuarial Matters and Healthcare Services to investigate alleged mismanagement of funds and other irregularities…

The House of Representatives has mandated its Committees on Insurance and Actuarial Matters and Healthcare Services to investigate alleged mismanagement of funds and other irregularities in the National Health Insurance Authority.

This followed the adoption of a motion moved by Esosa Iyawe at the plenary on Tuesday.

Presenting the motion, Iyawe said that despite the huge budgetary allocations for the insurance scheme, records had shown that only 3 per cent of persons had access to health insurance in the formal sector, leaving over 170 million Nigerians without health insurance.

According to him, the programme has been fraught with poor service delivery by the HMOs as well as low-quality services on the part of the healthcare service providers.

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He said, this was evidenced by the high level of dissatisfaction amongst enrollees who are discouraged from recommending the scheme to potential subscribers.

Iyawe said reports had it that in some hospitals, the pharmacy for patients covered by the NHIA was separated from the hospital’s main pharmacy, and allegedly stocked with low-quality drugs, as against the main pharmacy.

The lawmaker added that there were disturbing reports that funds allocated for the implementation of the national health insurance policy were allegedly being mismanaged.

He said it was also alleged that some HMOs failed to remit funds or pay monthly capitations to the healthcare providers.

He added, “25 years after the programme commenced, reports have shown that, out of a population of about 200 million, only about four million Nigerians are covered under the scheme, which is contrary to the claim by the Authority that over 10 million Nigerians are currently enrolled in the programme.

“The implementation of the scheme had been mired with corruption, lack of transparency and accountability, irregularities among HMOs and ill-treatment of enrollees by healthcare providers”.

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