Nigeria: HMOs Paid N60 Billion Admin Fee – Usman

Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, Professor Yusuf Usman, said, yesterday, his office has paid N60 billion as administrative fees to Hospital Management Organisations, HMOs, in the country. He, however, said the HMOs had a debt profile of N2.276 billion with hospitals across the country. Usman made the revelations while responding to questions from the investigative hearing into the “compliance rate of the Health Management Organisations, HMOs, to the NHIS contributions and utilisation of funds by the health care providers and inhumane treatment of enrollees,” organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Health Care Services in Abuja, yesterday. Describing the HMOs as “blood-sucking maggots,” Usman showed displeasure over the inability of the organisations to pay the medical care providers. Usman, who also debunked the claims that the HMOs were in touch with the people, said: “When I came, I started asking questions no one asked. When I speak, I speak with data. It is not heresy. The issues are not now. We are holding the hearing because I am stepping on toes. I know what I gave the HMOs, each hospital, each place. I have the facts. HMOs are nothing but blood-sucking maggots. “N60 billion is what we have paid them since 2005. This is people’s money. They are not everywhere because my men and women are in the field. They are not there. You come down from your hilltop and cash your cheque and you say you are everywhere. Everybody should serve where they are. “HMOs, I am going to re-accredit you based on your performance and you are going to pay all. “N2.276 billion is being owed hospitals by HMOs. For you to continue, you have to pay all the debts. For 12 years, 450,000 Nigerians only. We have identified corruption. Straight from our office, we will pay hospitals and save Nigerians. NHIS should not be allowed to die in the hands of the HMOs.” As an alternative, the NHIS boss said he would enrol over 2.5 million Nigerians into to the scheme, if he was allowed to deal directly with the service providers. Speaking earlier, Deputy chairman of the committee, Muhammad Usman, stated the positions of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and its Trade Union Congress, TUC, counterpart on Wednesday, saying they would prefer a direct transaction with hospitals.

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