Health Minister Suspends 8 More NHIS Top Officials as HMOs Tackle Yusuf
The Federal Ministry of Health, on Monday, announced the suspension of eight officials of the National Health Insurance Scheme following more facts uncovered by the committee set up by the minister to investigate the suspended NHIS Executive Secretary, Prof. Usman Yusuf.
According to reports, some of the suspended officials also had pending petitions written against them dating back to 2015.
The ministry, in a statement by the Director of Media and Public Affairs, Mrs. Boade Akinola, said the General Manager and Zonal Coordinator (South-South) of the NHIS, Mr. Olufemi Akingbade, was one of the suspended persons.
Akingbade was accused of fraud while he was in charge of the ICT Department and was indicted by security agencies but was never charged.
Others suspended by the ministry are General Manager (Finance), Mr. John Okon; General Manager (Human Resources and Administration) Mr. Yusuf Fatika; Assistant General Manager in charge of Audit, Mr. Shehu Adamu; and Assistant General Manager, Head Insurance, Mr. Vincent Mamdam.
The Senior Assistant Officer, Marketing, Mr. Safiyanu Attah; Senior Manager, Contribution Management, Owen Udo-Udoma; and Mr. Innocent Abbah who is the Senior Assistant Officer, Planning Research and Monitoring, were also suspended.
The statement added, “In furtherance of the activities of the investigative panel of inquiry and the desire to have an uninterrupted and robust investigation of all petitions at the NHIS, including security reports on maladministration and mismanagement by officials of the agency, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has approved the suspensions.”
Also on Monday, the Health and Managed Care Association of Nigeria challenged the suspended executive secretary to expose any of its members that was corrupt.
The National Publicity Secretary of HMCAN, Mr. Lekan Ewenla, who stated this in an interview with journalists in Abuja, attributed the crisis in the NHIS to regulation failure.
He absolved members of HMCAN, which is an umbrella body of health maintenance organisations, of corruption.
Ewenla stated, “There is no established case of corruption against any HMO by the suspended executive secretary. Now that he has been suspended for three months, he should come out with facts and figures of any HMO that is found corrupt.”
The national publicity secretary said 90 per cent of the N351bn, which Yusuf said was paid to the HMOs, went to hospitals, adding that if enrollees were treated shabbily, it was due to the failure of the regulator (the NHIS).
He said the NHIS had failed to embark on systematic redistribution of enrollees from teaching hospitals to primary facilities with lower volume of enrollees.
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