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Customer Week: Enrollees Satisfaction, Bedrock of NHIA’s Existence – Coordinator

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) on Friday disclosed that Enrollee satisfaction remained the bedrock of the agency’s activities and one of the key reasons it was created.

The assertion was made by Mr Stanley Effah, Cross River Coordinator of NHIA during the customer week celebration of the agency from Oct. 2 to Oct. 6 in Calabar.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NHIA formerly the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was established in 1999 by decree 35 and officially renamed on May 24, 2022.

Its core mandate was directed at providing accessible, affordable and qualitative healthcare for all Nigerians through a public-private partnership (PPP) to achieve Universal Health Coverage.

Effah who noted that the week was celebrated in the 36 states of the nation, said it gave the agency the opportunity to look back to see how far and well the enrollees who were their customers had benefitted from their services.

He said since the new NHIA Act was signed into law, a lot had changed in the agency bringing in more strategic programmes that have increased the enrollees, particularly in Cross River.

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“The change of name from NHIS to NHIA has strengthened us to operate as a regulator with more functions and also entrenched the mandatory health insurance for all Nigerians to ensure Universal Health Coverage.

“Although not all our programmes have been implemented, the change of name has made the agency stronger to protect the enrollees and to sanction erring stakeholders in the health insurance ecosystem.

“We now have a new operational system that will be unveiled soon and a new Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) has been signed with pharmaceuticals and drug manufacturers to make our operations better with the enrollees in mind,” he said.

He however appealed to the enrollees to organise themselves and join the enrollees association to enable them to benefit more from the agency.

On his part, Mr Orok Edet, President, Enrollees Association of NHIS of Nigeria, said with the new name, NHIA now had new powers to solve challenges that used to be a bit challenging in the health sector between enrollees and service providers.

While noting that more sensitisation was needed for healthcare providers who sometimes try to shortchange the enrollees, Edet called for more collaboration between NHIA and the enrollees through the association to fully integrate the enrollees in the scheme.

Similarly, Mrs Margaret Oneh an enrollee said she had been with the scheme for 11 years and gave birth to all her children through it at a very minimal cost.

She encouraged more people to join the scheme while calling on NHIA to carry out more monitoring of private healthcare practitioners who in a bid to make more profit try to shortchange enrollees by telling them that some conditions were partly covered.

NAN also reports that the agency used the opportunity to honour some of its staff who had been outstanding in their customer relations.

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