The House of Representatives on Thursday mandated its Committee on Healthcare Services to investigate the National Health Insurance Scheme over contributors’ funds and recommend ways of preventing its misuse.
This mandate followed a unanimous adoption of a motion titled: “Need to protect contributors to the National Health Insurance Scheme and insulate the scheme from misuse.”
The motion was jointly sponsored by Reps. Onwubuariri Kingsley (PDP-Imo), Joseph Edionwele (PDP-Edo) and Chike Okafor (APC-Imo).
Moving the motion, Kingsley said there was the need to address the growing discontent among contributors to the scheme.
He cited unsatisfactory services and harrowing encounters with the Health Care Providers in terms of drug availability and administration.
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 brought untold hardship to many Nigerians.
Kingsley said the scheme had attained only 2.5 per cent coverage out of an estimated 30 per cent projection for 2015.
“This amounts to about five million people out of a population of more than 165 million that have access to the scheme,” he said, adding: “This is in spite of the fact that the scheme at all times has ready 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.”
Kingsley said the scheme should be nurtured to give real value for money to subscribers.
“It should enable more people in the private sector, especially the poor, to have access to the scheme by introducing new methods of enrolment,” he said.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, mandated the committee to ascertain the 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 eight weeks for further legislative action.