By Alex Okoro

OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Healthcare Services to probe the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) over contributors funds and recommend ways of protecting it from being abused.

The resolve as unanimously adopted is sequel to a motion titled “Need to protect contributors to the national health insurance scheme and insulate the scheme from abuse” jointly sponsored by Mr. Onwubuariri Kingsley (PDP-Imo), Joseph Edionwele (PDP-Edo) and Chike Okafor (APC-Imo) during Thursday’s plenary session.

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Moving the motion, Kingsley said there was need to address the growing discontent among contributors to the scheme.

“Especially about the unsatisfactory services of, and harrowing encounters with the Health Care Providers (HCPs) in term of drug availability and administration,’’ he added.

According to the lawmaker, thousands of eligible Nigerians who have applied for registration as beneficiaries have been unduly denied benefits from the scheme owing to administrative lapses.

He added that the situation had bringing untold hardship to many Nigerians.
Kingsley further expressed worry that the scheme had attained only 2.5 per cent coverage out of an estimated 30 per cent projection for 2015.

“Which amounts to about 5 million people out of a population of more than 165 million that have access to the scheme,’’ he added.

“Although the scheme at all times has ready-made pool of funds to realise the aims and objectives of its establishment,
“Nigerians are not benefiting from the statutory contributions of government to the NHIS.
“Many companies and individuals have pulled out of the scheme because of poor services from hospitals,’’ he added.

Kingsley said the scheme should be nurtured to give real value for money to subscribers.

“And enable more people in the unorganised private sector, especially the poor, to have access to the scheme by introducing new methods of enrolment, “he said.

Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara also mandated the Committee to ascertain activities of health management organisations.

The committee is also to ascertain their level of compliance with guidelines issued by NHIS and report back to the House within 8 weeks for further legislative action.

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