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12m Nigerians Enroll In NHIS, As HMOs Owe Hospitals



Executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof.  Mohammed Sambo, has said that over 12 million people have enrolled into the NHIS.

Prof. Sambo disclosed this yesterday when he paid a courtesy visit on the LEADERSHIP management at its headquarters in Abuja.

He said, “As at last week, we have computed over 12million people that are under the NHIS.”

Sambo informed that the NHIS operates under a 2004 law which focuses
on the formal sector, adding that the monies that comes to the NHIS is
from contributions from the salaries of the formal/public sector

He, therefore, stated that even if the scheme was performing at its
best, it has limitations because it can only cover employees of

“The NHIS law at inception and till today, is still non-mandatory.
When it started, states and local governments were supposed to join
the scheme. But because it was non-mandatory, the states and local
governments refused to join.

“So it was only left for the federal and those willing in the private
sector to join. Because of that problem, the health insurance system
was decentralised. Every state has its own health insurance scheme to
cover its formal sector and come up with initiatives to cover other
segments of the population.”

This is even as he stated that there has been a lot of problems
regarding the operations of Health Management Organisations (HMOs),
while frowning that the HMOs  have been owing healthcare facilities for
so many years.

The ES, who will be one year in office in the next two weeks, blamed
some of  the problems on what he described as weakness of the NHIS as
a result of not having a clearly defined regulation mechanism.

Given the enormity of the problem confronting the NHIS,
Prof. Sambo said that he came into office with three-point agenda of re-branding
the NHIS so as to  restore confidence and transform the Scheme to a result
oriented organisation.

On his part, the Group Managing Director, LEADERSHIP Newspaper, Mr.
Muazu Elazeh, commended the NHIS boss for ensuring stability in the

He urged the ES to strengthen synergy between the NHIS and the
respective state Health Insurance Schemes.