NHIS scam worse than oil subsidy, says ex-secretary

The level of fraud in the health insurance coverage scheme is worse than the fuel subsidy, Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS),  Prof. Usman Yusuf, has said.

This is just as the National Assembly resolved that NHIS and other emergency agencies be removed from the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

Both remarks were made yesterday at the three-day NHIS management retreat in Kaduna.

Prof. Yusuf accused many Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) and health care givers of collecting money from the agency for work not done.

He said the HMOs should return money to the agency.

The NHIS chief challenged stakeholders to brace themselves, warning that he would ditch any HMOs, which failed to change.

“What we have here is not health care financing. This is worse than fuel subsidy.

“I need to see money returned by HMOs, through the NHIS that were  not used.

“The waste I see, the impunity I see, and the political patronage I see makes me want to throw up. The President’s mandate is clear: “Go and make the NHIS work for Nigerians.

“And, all I need, not the bunch of providers or HMOs that do not work. I need a few good ones. If it would take just one, that is the one I will work with. I will have no hesitation to delist any HMO or health care provider that does not work. This is not a threat, I get passionate about this. We’ve not been good custodians about what we are entrusted with. Our number is pathetic. It is annoying, seeing the number of Nigerians not covered.”

He warned that the proper thing must be done and in the respect, all stakeholders must be accountable; stressing that “I didn’t come all the way to be signing cheques for the HMOs or primary health care providers, or to drive in big jeeps.

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