Officials of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) stormed the medical center of Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State on a fact finding mission over alleged non-compliance with the provisions of the scheme.
The fact finding officials were led by NHIS Zonal Coordinator, Mallam Adamu Abdullahi and the officials interacted with staff of the medical center and union leaders.
The fact finding visit to Bida Poly medical center was prompted by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) chapter petition to the Executive Secretary of NHIS over non-provision of drugs and essential services in the medical center.
In the petition signed ASUP Bida Poly chapter chairman, Abubakar Ndasabe and the Secretary, Yusuf Yakubu, the union alleged that, despite staff contribution of 10percent of their monthly consolidated basic salary and monthly release of over N12million to the Health Management Organization (HMO), the medical center lacks drugs.
Recall that, the retired Rector, Dr. Abubakar Dzukogi, had directed queries be issued to the medical director, pharmacist and three union leaders for allegedly posting pictures of empty drug shelves of the medical center on line.
ASUP Bida petition to NHIS executive secretary dated August 27, 2020, which was also copied the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), said the medical centre of the institution does not adhere to the NHIS guidelines.
The union listed the anomalies and violation of NHIS guidelines by the poly management to include nonavailability of drugs in institution medical centre and also special drugs such as Ulcer drugs, even where the drugs are in stock or available they are sold at higher prices to staff compare to what is obtainable in the private medical stores, non compliance of NHIS guidelines on antenatal services by the school clinic.
Others are: Rejection of referrals from Bida Poly medical centre due to non-payment by the HMO, Traumatic Centre raised by fire for more than one year ago has not been renovated nor the burnt equipment replaced, amount released for day-to-day running of medical centre grossly inadequate, Tertiary Institutions Health Insurance Policy (TISHIP) and NHIS funds are combined against the provision of the scheme, remittance of NHIS funds are converted to Internally Generated Revenue, zero allocation to the clinic and clinical administration, management and purchase of NHIS drugs moved to procurement unit, where the rector is in charge.
The union said, several complaints were made to the HMO to improve services but the efforts met brick wall and revealed that the HMO representative in the institution, Mr. John Kayode was compensated and offered a permanent and pensionable appointment as a lecturer in Business Administration Department while union leaders were queried for complaining against the irregularities.
Based on the observed anomalies, ASUP demanded for visitation panel to investigate the irregularities in Bida Poly NHIS (medical centre), adequate drugs be provided in the clinic, special drugs such as Ulcer be made available, purchase of drugs be delisted from the schedules of the procurement unit of the institution.
ASUP also asked that, account of NHIS and TISHIP be separated, chief medical director should be the custodian of NHIS remittances, HMO (United Health International) be changed as Bida Poly HMO, TISHIP and NHIS fund be run independently.
The NHIS Zonal Coordinator led a three-man team to Bida Poly medical centre to investigate the union’s allegations and were conducted round the clinic and saw facts for themselves. The NHIS officials expressed dismay on the lack of drugs and essential services in the clinic.
The Education Report gathered that, the Zonal NHIS officials are expected to write their report and forward it to the executive secretary of NHIS in Abuja for further action.
It was further learnt that the visit by the NHIS investigating team caught Bida Poly management unaware and a senior staff told our Correspondent that if the management were told of the visit, they will have stocked the drug stores.
Recall that, the 3 Union leaders have been penciled down for dismissal for daring to complain to the management about irregularities and anomalies in the administration of NHIS accredited clinic in the school. It was learnt that, the rector had submitted the purported dismissal report to the Federal Ministry of Education for ratification despite the court injunction orders.