Nigeria sacks 23 of country’s 57 Health Management Organisations (HMOs)

The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Governing Council, on Thursday said only one of 57 Health Management Organisation’s (HMOs) in the country had fully met the criteria for accreditation.

Dr. Enyantu Ifenne, the Chairman of the Governing Council disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Abuja.

Dr. Ifenne said in April 2017, the Minster of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole gave approval for NHIS to conduct a re-accreditation exercise for all stakeholders.

She said the report revealed that only one HMO of 57 met the criteria for re-accreditation, 33 HMOs were offered provisional accreditation, while 23 HMOs were delisted.

“HMOs that scored above 50 per cent and met the irreducible minimum requirements are recommended for full reaccreditation.

“The only HMO in this category is Defence Health Maintenance Limited.

“HMOs that scored 50 per cent and above and have met the critical requirements but have one or more outstanding irreducible requirements are recommended for provisional reaccreditation.

“The HMOs for provisional reaccreditation are 33, provisional re-accreditation is recommended to be for a maximum of three months during which the HMOs should meet the outstanding requirements listed against them.

“Failure to meet the requirements shall result in loss of accreditation,’ ’she said.

According to her, the NHIS act and operational guidelines guide the scheme’s activities on accreditation, reaccreditation of HMOs and all other activities.

She said the scheme was responsible for registering HMOs and health care providers, issuing appropriate guidelines to maintain the viability of the scheme among others.

Ms. Ifenne explained that under section 19 (3) and (b) of the NHIS Act the registration of an organisation under the scheme would be renewed at the expiration of every registration within two years.

Ms. Ifenne added that no registration would be renewed unless the organisation concerned had complied with guidelines issued under the Act.

She further listed criteria for accreditation as “Registration with Corporate Affairs Commission, adequacy of paid-up share capital, integrity of shareholders, board of directors composition, current tax clearance of company.

Others include current tax clearance of all directors, compliance with PENCOM Act appointment of an auditing firm, evidence of audited account and statement of account of company, appointment of a company secretary among others.

Dr. Ifenne however, expressed grave concern that the primary purpose of the scheme, which was to make healthcare physically and financially available to all Nigerians, was becoming far-fetched.

“The scheme which took off in 2005, 13 years of operation, its still lagging behind in achieving its mandate of universal coverage.

“Presently, only 2 to 3 per cent of Nigerians are covered, however, the council is determined to bring on board the desired change by achieving 10 per cent coverage of Nigerians annually.

“The council, since its inauguration on March 6, had taken proactive steps at dousing tension at the organisation, while regenerating public and government confidence,’’ she said.

She further reminded all stakeholders that every effort and activity within the operations of NHIS was the satisfaction of lives and the quality of care available to them at the points of service.