When Prof Usman Yusuf was arrive from the United States and appointed as the Executive Secretary of the National Bloom Allowance Arrangement (NHIS) in 2016, he charge accept congratulated himself as he saw it as an befalling to serve his country.
The arrangement is aimed at accouterment accessible admission to healthcare for all Nigerians at an affordable amount through assorted pre-payment systems. Accustomed beneath the National Bloom Allowance Arrangement Act, Cap N42, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the NHIS had been disturbing to apprehend its authorization and the Federal Government charge accept anticipation that Yusuf was the appropriate man to put it on track.
An bookish with industry acquaintance in the United States from area the arrangement was borrowed, is no agnosticism an asset for an alignment that envisions advance that would accomplish accepted bloom advantage a absoluteness in the country. But if the government took the appropriate accommodation by giving him the appointment, Yusuf charge by now be allurement himself whether his accommodation to booty the action was able-bodied though-out.
Since he stepped into the office, there has been a annealed abrasion to him and what he represents by some accustomed interests aural and alfresco the NHIS secretariat. A war of abrasion was unleashed, and he looked like a soldier angry a adamant army which employs accepted and guerrilla tactics.
Anyone who cared about the NHIS, and has followed developments back Yusuf took over its diplomacy two years ago, will not be afraid about the about-face of events. He acutely came to appointment with a afire admiration to accomplish impact, but begin himself instead, angry to actualize a accessory ambiance for success.
Yusuf was befuddled into an appointment in an industry area stakeholders accept conspired to attenuate the arrangement in such means that it allowances them at the amount of the bodies they are meant to serve. It is a multi-layer cabal that is alone afresh advancing to light.
One band of the bent cabal in the bloom allowance arrangement is the role of the Bloom Administration Organizations (HMOs). These are the organizations that act as intermediaries amid the NHIS and hospitals that accommodate medical casework to the insured. The NHIS gives money to the HMOs on account of beneficiaries, and they are accepted to pay the hospitals for casework rendered.
But what had been accident was that the HMOs accept been accession money from NHIS afterwards remitting to the hospitals. This has led to accumulated debts and abnegation of hospitals to amusement patients enrolled into the scheme, thereby acquisition the purpose of the scheme.
Instead of advantageous the hospitals money due to them, the HMOs barn the funds in bartering banks and barter with it at the damage of poor Nigerians who accept accepted bloom allowance cover.
That is why added than 12 years afterwards it was accustomed to accommodate awning for a projected citizenry of 180 actor Nigerians by this year, the arrangement has been able to awning alone a afflicted 1.5 percent (about 3 million). This is so because the HMOs are declared to ensure that added bodies are brought into the arrangement through abiding bloom allowance business and affection account delivery.
In fact, it is not the job of the NHIS to aggrandize allowance advantage for added Nigerians. NHIS is a regulator. It is the job of the HMOs to advertise bloom allowance and ensure alert and able account commitment for enrolees of the scheme. The HMOs accept been agriculture fat on money meant for the poor and the vulnerable.
The NHIS bang-up came and begin a cesspool of bribery and maladministration and an accepted administration of official sabotage. He thought, in acceptable conscience, that it was an unacceptable bearings and he bound put the advertise to work. An analysis of the NHIS abstracts abject and arrangement yielded a rot that stunk to aerial heavens.
Some of Nigeria’s aesthetic politicians are the men abaft these HMOs and saw the NHIS as cash-cows for amaranthine milking. Billions were calm and not remitted to hospitals. Out of some 57 HMOs accomplishing business with NHIS, it was apparent that beneath than 10 were competent to be engaged.
To admixture the botheration for the Yusuf-led management, some top agents of NHIS were neck-deep in the scam. Money was paid to HMOs for apparition beneficiaries. The analysis showed that not beneath than 23,000 on NHIS account of beneficiaries were ghosts, acceptation that some smart-alecs were breach funds into their clandestine accounts.
The NHIS bang-up charge accept been abashed above words at what he begin in the books. Because anon afterwards he acclimatized into office, he started axis the tables. He did two things that literarily acquired convulsion in the bloom allowance sector.
First, he said all HMOs would accept to be re-accredited to ascertain their adequacy and integrity. This was what led to the analysis that added than 80 percent of them were not able in the aboriginal place, and he threatened to delist them!
Second, he insisted on re-licensing all HMO accepted hospitals civic to acquisition out those absolutely alms services, and those actuality acclimated to syphon NHIS funds. These two decisions were like blame a arenaceous arena during the harmattan- it aloft so abundant dust that it’s still aerial in the air added than a year after.
For adventuresome to do the unthinkable, and for aggressive accepted and base interests in the industry, Yusuf has now become endangered. The aphotic armament are fighting, but they are not assuming their faces or hands. Those who are burglary from the poor are application proxies to allowance their insurgency. Yusuf has been accused of bribery and nepotism, and it alike led to his suspension. Afterwards investigations showed he was clean, he was asked to resume his duties. But the hawks are not relenting.
On Monday, some characters ambuscade beneath the Association of Senior Civil Servants (ASCS) afresh declared on the Federal Government to append the NHIS bang-up for declared base acts and for accepting seven policemen attention him!
– Omokwe wrote from Lagos.
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