National Healthcare Insurance Scheme in Nigeria: "We Are Deploying Hi-technology to Resolve Issues Bedeviling HMO Operations in Nigeria" Charles Nenyiaba, Executive Vice Chairman, Oceanic Health

On 16/Aug/2019 / In Press Publications

As a fallout of a rapid increase in Nigeria's population over the years, public sector healthcare institutions became overwhelmed and incapable of providing healthcare services. This led to the growth of private healthcare institutions to complement the efforts of the government. The National Health Insurance Scheme, (NHIS) although established in 1999, became operational in 2005 to ensure access to quality health care services, provide financial risk protection, reduce rising costs of health care services and ensure efficiency in healthcare delivery.

National Healthcare Insurance Scheme in Nigeria

Currently, the NHIS covers less than 10 per cent of the Nigerian population; leaving the most vulnerable population at the mercy of unaffordable healthcare services. And in order to bridge this gap, new innovations are being introduced by proactive Health Management Organisations (HMOs) to ensure that the average Nigerian is able to access healthcare in a hassle-free process. According to Charles Nenyiaba, Executive Vice Chairman, Oceanic Health Management Ltd, one of the frontline HMOs in the country, his organisation is deploying the right technology for this operation. To him, since the size of the country is large both geographically and population-wise, and if cutting-edge technology is not deployed in the industry, it will be very hard for an organization to survive. Oceanic Health Management Limited was established and licensed by the NHIS in 2007 for the provision of managed health care to the Nigerian public.

The company is one of the few licensed managed health care services providers that have been recently re-accredited by the NHIS. In Nigeria, the issue of affordability is a critical success factor for the healthcare insurance business, the Oceanic Health boss called on the federal government to find solution to Nigeria's economy which he described as " very harsh now" "The sole objective of healthcare insurance is affordable healthcare, the more technology is deployed, the more you'll be able to deliver and meet customers' satisfaction because customer loyalty depends on satisfaction.

We intend to be high-tech driven because doing this business manually is hard work but not smart work. We want to be a digital company in the HMO business", he pointed out. According to Nenyiaba, NHIS has been able to create direct employment opportunities, while most hospitals nationwide are now more engaged and benefiting from the economies of scale made available by the pooling of healthcare resources. "It has always been our mantra to exhibit a deep sense of responsibility in the course of delivering our services. Therefore, we are strategically positioned to provide quality healthcare service to all segments of the society" With a vision to be the trusted HMO partner ensuring quality healthcare for 100 percent of its members, its mission is to facilitate access to quality healthcare services.

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