Administrative Bottlenecks Threaten NHIS – Akingbade | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Administrative Bottlenecks Threaten NHIS – Akingbade

Posted: Aug 10, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Hassan Zaggi  Abuja

The Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Femi Akingbade, has disclosed that the recently introduced National Mobile Health Insurance (NMHI) Programme was threatened by high administrative charges and bureaucratic bottlenecks by identity managers.

NMHI was introduced in July 2014 and had since commenced operation in some hospitals in Lagos.

Akingbade disclosed this while responding to questions from journalists in Abuja, at the weekend. He, however, assured that programme was being reviewed and that his agency was partnering with the National Communication Commission (NCC) with the aim of resolving the challenges.

“We are trying to bring stakeholders on the same page with us. One unfortunate thing that is happening is that we are having service delivery failure because the stakeholders seem not to totally agree with the payments and fees that are coming to them based on the agreed distribution of the funds that are being contributed.

“This can be attributed to a lot of things. For instance, we found out that the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) that are involved have lots of government charges to pay and a lot of the fees are going into administrative charges which we are trying to reduce.

“That is why we have not been optimally providing the service. But we are reviewing the whole programme and we hope that very soon, we would be back on track and people would be able to access service,” Akingbade noted.

He said that the 20 health facilities that are currently operating the programme in Lagos would be reimbursed directly by the NHIS.

“Our promise to those who have registered is that if you go to any hospital, NHIS would reimburse such hospital directly. “We have identified 20 facilities in Lagos for that purpose and we have an understanding already with those facilities that if any of those that registered for Mobile health insurance visits the hospital, we will reimburse them directly.

“I think the problem is that because of the spread of those 20 facilities, some people find the distance of those hospitals to their location very far.

“But I am sure that with time, as the programme scales up to run nationwide, all accredited facilities under the NHIS in the country would be able to render service under the programme.”

Commenting on the collaboration between his agency the other identity management agencies, Akingbade said: “We need to collaborate with the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), National Identity Management Corporation, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and lots of other agencies that are into identity management. We are conscious of that and we are working on modalities for improvement all around its process.”

He further explained that: “One of the things we wanted to do with the NMHIP is to leverage on existing tele-density of the MNOs because they already have about 120 million people registered under them and the idea of NMHIP is for you to link your phone number with existing data that was captured during the recent SIM card registration with the MNOs. Coincidentally, the data base is being warehoused by NCC.