The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has presented its digital transformation framework to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to fast-track the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the country.
The scheme’s Deputy General Manager, Press, Mr Emmanuel Ononokpono, made this known in a statement he signed and issued to newsmen in Abuja.
He said the framework was designed to deploy technology to address the processes and effect real-time results in the delivery of health insurance services.
Ononokpono quoted the Executive Secretary of NHIS, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, as saying that tracing the trajectory of the framework depended on manual processes and rudimentary technology in the operation of health insurance.
Sambo said that the framework, also known as the eNHIS in health insurance, added that critical data was hosted outside the country by a South African firm.
He explained that the situation presented issues of inefficiency in service delivery, as well as security integrity of data.
According to him, the contracting firm brings little value either in human or material resources to the system.
Sambo said previous approvals for the execution of eNHIS in 2016 run into contracting glitches, confining the initiative to uncertainties and non-implementation.
He said collaboration with Nigerian Communication Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) and leveraging Presidential Executive Orders 003 and 005 and Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval ensured eNHIS became a reality.
The NHIS boss said “partnership with NIGCOMSAT saved huge funds for government.”
He listed the benefits of the automation of health insurance operations to include connectivity among stakeholders, real-time service provision, resolution of complaints, data analytics and effective call management system, among others.
Ononokpono also stated that the EFCC Chairman, Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, called for integration of the eNHIS system with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC)
database for the purpose of synchronisation to avoid duplication of data collection.
Bawa said there was need to ensure security of data and servers for backups in various locations.
He said security of ICT infrastructure should never be allowed to suffer any kind of breach, noting that if service delivery was to be effective, sanctions should be imposed on facilities that failed to treat patients who had been paid for under the scheme.
He expressed the hope that eNHIS would curtail fraud in health insurance operations, adding that a comparative study of how developed countries tackled unwholesome practices in health insurance would be useful.
The scheme’s General Manager, ICT, Mr Nasiru Ikharo, made a comprehensive presentation of the eNHIS project, detailing the processes, prospects, linkages and benefits to Nigerians in the long run. (NAN)