NHIS holds stakeholders engagement for health care providers and enrollees

Gloria Essien,Abuja

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The National Health Insurance Scheme has held a strategic  meeting with stakeholders to seek ways of improving its services.

The meeting is an opportunity to address errors and failures of the past, and build from it a future of shared successes and glory.

Speaking at the meeting, the Nigerian minister of health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, says the reforms going on in the NHIS gives him confidence that ultimately NHIS will receive not just a facelift, but a total revitalisation.

The minister also commended the impressive effort to reposition the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for greater effectiveness and impact.

Let me at this juncture assure you, ladies and gentlemen, that some of the concerns of the providers have also come to our attention, including but certainly not limited to delayed payments by HMOs and the pressing need for tariff review.

Happily, these are issues on the card during the reforms. This underlies why you must therefore be frank and open in these conversations. 

We must give credit to the Management of NHIS, for creating this serial platforms of consultations with all the stakeholders, with a view to engendering seamless interactivity, bringing every player in line with operational guidelines and strengthening quality assurance in the processes”. The minister said.

He encouraged enrollees to always ask for better service as it is their right while urging providers to ensure that enrollees complains and feedback get prompt attention always.

Dr Ehanire also urged health providers to key into the reforms at NHIS, by frankly addressing internal reforms among themselves.

He also urged the NHIS to do the right things and make sure that enrollees enjoy the basic care at medical facilities.

We support the NHIS leadership as ot strive to better the lot of enrollees

This is particularly so, when you consider that the providers are the ones among the stakeholders with the most frequent and intimate enrolee encounter. The import of this is that most impressions of the enrolee about NHIS are formed from their experiences at the service point, giving the providers the privilege to influence largely the image of the Scheme.

Indeed, the testimonies of enrollees about their experiences with providers are critical about how attractive or not the Scheme appears to the general and target publics”. He added.

The Executive Secretary of the National Insurance Scheme, Prof Mohammed Sambo said that the meeting is an important one, which is intended to bring all of stakeholders to a common forum, where issues bordering on healthcare service delivery to all Nigerians can freely be ventilated.

In the course of this engagement, we shall look at ourselves in the eyes and ask pertinent questions with the aim of identifying the points that failed to connect with the fundamental objectives of the Scheme and provide solutions accordingly. I therefore urge the healthcare providers here present to roll up their sleeves, for the task which is ahead of us is enormous. It is pertinent to remind you that, the provision of qualitative and affordable healthcare service delivery to all Nigerians through the NHIS is one of the key priority areas of the administration President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, which aligns with the global agenda for achieving Universal Health Coverage advocated by the World Health Organisation (WHO). In this regard, the healthcare providers no doubt play a pivotal role in achieving this objective”. The Executive Secretary said.

Prof Sambo noted that the Scheme hitherto, had been engulfed in crises that seemed bottomless, saying he was glad and that, the Scheme is profoundly stable for reforms.

“I would like to inform you that a lot has been done to reposition the Scheme on the path of success by engendering enduring reforms, which target a positive result-oriented NHIS. Accordingly, a painstaking roadmap has been developed, from which a three-point agenda evolved. I intend to drive the process of the reforms on the tripod of the three points, which are:-

Ø Engendering Value reorientation through a well-defined value system

Ø Transparency and Accountability in the management of the entire Scheme

Ø Activation and acceleration of the push-factors for the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

The specificities of the three-point agenda are being unfolded in the Scheme and the effects are already bringing it up to its foot in order to walk and work again.

It will interest the healthcare providers to know that this is day-two in the series of engagements, lined up for the stakeholders of the Scheme. The Scheme has met with the representatives of the enrollees. We took special note of the challenges, which they encounter when they approach your facilities for healthcare services. They also provided what they considered as the solutions to the challenges”. The ES said.

He stated that the meeting will broaden the solution to challenges identified.

Adding that enrollees under his administration would enjoy better health care delivery.

Enrollees and service providers at the meeting disclosed some of the challenges they face while trying to access service while the providers also spoke their minds.

Ime Njoku