FHIS applauds media’s contributions to increasing beneficiaries

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The FCT Health Insurance Scheme (FHIS) has applauded the role of the media for projecting the agency, leading to increase in beneficiaries of health insurance services in the city.

Dr Aminat Zakari, Deputy Director (DD) Operations of the agency, made this know while addressing newsmen at the opening of the agency’s two-day meeting with health stakeholders.

Stakeholders at the meeting include Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs), Health Care Providers (HCP) and Caregivers.

The meeting is aimed at identifying some challenges observed by the health stakeholders with FHIS, identifying the ones with the stakeholders, as well as proffering solutions to all the challenges by all the stakeholders.

“We have about 157, 000 lives, I will attribute the increase, which is just of recent, to our engagement with the media.

Not quite long we had a media roundtable, we also had a training for them and that has now expanded our horizon.

“Anytime the media have opportunity, they speak to the public about FHIS and this has really improved our enrollment, increased our sensitisation; we speak to people anywhere we go about health insurance.

“Although, we want it to be better than this, and this is why we are having this stakeholders meeting which we believe the media will also project us,” she disclosed.

Mr Adesoji Idowu, Manager, Clients Services and Underwriting, United Healthcare International, identified some challenges militating against smooth running of health insurance in the FCT.

He said that cost and funding had been a bigger problem to some of the HMOs, adding that finding sustainable funding sources to HMOs had limited the provision of health insurance in the FCT.

According to him, balancing premium affordability for participants has remained a great challenge, and that administrative complexity had also limited efficiency of health insurance services in FCT.

“Some enrollees come to the hospital to present some of their relations that are not covered by the services (impersonation); this is another major challenge to the smooth running of health insurance in Nigeria,” he said.

Earlier at the programme, Mr Mbakwe Onyebuchi, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, FHIS, stated that the objective of the meeting was to have discussion with stakeholders in health insurance concerning the operation of FHIS.

He said that the meeting was also to access the performance of FHIS within the first and second quarters of 2023, and as the agency operation affected each and everyone of the stakeholders.

“All our operations from January to June of this year will be assessed, challenges militating against our operation at the hospital level will be identified here, including the ones confronting HMOs and caregivers as well as the enrollees.

“The aim of these is to discuss together all these challenges and proffer solutions. We encouraged the HMO, caregivers to tell the truth in order for us to move forward.

“There is bound to be conflict in the system,” he said.

Malan Haruna, the Acting Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS) of the FCTA, also urged the stakeholders to bare out their mind about the challenges on health insurance services in FCT.

Haruna, who was represented by Dr Mathew Ashikeni, Director of Special Duties, HHSS-FCTA, stated that whatever the stakeholders said would be presented to FCT Health Secretariat for further development and would enable FHIS to brace up.

“We are determined to make healthcare accessible to everybody in the FCT, let us discuss openly.

“We thank the United States Agency for International Development, Integrated Health Programme (USAID-IHP) for its support for making the work easier for director of FHIS and for enrollees,” he said.