Abuja - The House of Representatives has called on the
National Health Insurance (NHIS) to put on hold further quarterly release of
funds to the Health Maintenance organizations (HMOs) pending the outcome of
The House also mandated its Committee on Health Care
Services to commence investigation into the activities of the HMOs and
healthcare providers for the past eight years.
This is with a view to identifying their level of compliance
with the relevant provisions of the Act and determine the reasons for the poor
state of services to the enrolees.
The resolutions of the House followed the adoption of a
motion on the urgent need to investigate the compliance rate of funds by the
healthcare providers and inhuman treatment of enrollees, moved by Rep. Chike
Leading the debate, Okafor noted that the NHIS was set up to
provide health care for Nigerians at affordable cost through various
The lawmaker also noted that one of the cardinal
responsibilities of the scheme was to maintain high health care standard to
He expressed dismay that enrollees were being short changed
and used as conduit pipes to raise money for the HMO’s and healthcare
The lawmaker said, “Enrolees are treated like lepers while
trying to access the services that many strategies have been adopted by
healthcare providers and HMOs to deprive them their right to quality treatment
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Okafor claimed that the HMOs had received over N351 billion
from the scheme since its inception in 2005.
“It is regrettable to realize that the service covers less
than four per cent of Nigerians and there are reports of alleged diversion of
contributions amounting to billions of naira.’’
He further revealed that the scheme paid HMOs three months
upfront to enable them provide timely and qualitative health care services to
The lawmaker, however, noted that “the reverse is the case
as enrolees are being short changed and the services remain poor.
The Committee on Health Care Services is expected to report
its findings to the House with four weeks.
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