Usman Yusuf, suspended executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), has listed some of the reasons why he was suspended from the scheme.
In an explosive 43-minute video, Yusuf exposed some of the shady dealings in the NHIS and what he was doing to curtail them before he was suspended.
The executive secretary said his relationship with the board started well, but it deteriorated due to the influence health maintenance organisations (HMOs).
He said the last time he was suspended, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), went through all his accounts and that of his family and found nothing.
He said “worse things have been said about men greater than I,” so what “they say doesn’t get to me anymore, it doesn’t bother me anymore”.
After reviewing the video, TheCable brings you seven of the major revelations made by the NHIS boss.
HMOs NEGLECTED FAMILIES OF SOLDIERS FIGHTING BOKO HARAM
Yusuf said the health maintenance organisations (HMOs), who are the middlemen between the NHIS and the local hospitals, were neglecting soldiers fighting Boko Haram in the northeast.
“Defence HMO takes care of all armed forces and security forces, when I came there were problems, our men and women in the trenches in the northeast used to call me.
“Their families admitted in the hospitals and HMOs were not taking care of them. When the calls were incessant, I asked for an appointment to see the chief of army staff, and he obliged me.
“I went and sat with him and said general ‘we have a problem’, we cannot send our men and women in harms ways and not taking care of them. And as a general that he is, he solved this thing swiftly.”
He said things are much better now, and that is why it is the only HMO that has full licence to practice today.
NHIS MONEY IS BLOOD MONEY — I’D DO THIS JOB FOR FREE
The professor of haematology-oncology and bone marrow transplantation said NHIS money is blood money, and that he is willing to do the job for free.
“If I was here to steal money, you will not hear anything; I have said it before, I am saying it again, NHIS money is blood money,” he said.
“I accepted this position to do good, that was why we went into medical school. There is no greater honour for me than to serve. And I will do this job for free.
THE REGULATED IS THE REGULATOR
He said many of those on the board of the NHIS own HMOs, hence the regulated is also the regulator.
“They are even on the board of the NHIS, so the regulated on the board of the regulator, so I said this is not going to continue, not this time.
“The board of corruption, we are not going to rock it, we are going to sink it, HMOs will get licence, HMOs will pay hospitals.”
HMOs LICENCE EXPIRED IN 2013 — YET THEY GET PAID
Yusuf said when he was checking the books, he found that many of the HMOs are working with expired licences.
“All their liences have expired, some as far back as 2013, and I ask my people, will the central bank deal with any bank that doesn’t have a licence? Then why are we giving these entities billions of people’s money?
“Unlicenced entities, you’re giving them money three months ahead, they were not paying, they were living far away from where people are.”
NHIS CATERING TO ONLY 3 MILLION NIGERIANS
What did I find when I came to the board of the NHIS in 2016 when I came on board. In the 13 years of NHIS, how many Nigerians have NHIS covered?
In the 13 years of NHIS, how much has gone into the pool, how much has gone out? Who has benefitted? Who has not benefitted? Who are the stakeholders? How responsible have
What I found was shocking, In 13 years, NHIS has only covered 3 million Nigerians. I started asking questions, how much came in, how much went out?
He said the investments and the results have been abysmally embarrassing.
HMOs FIX NHIS MONEY AND GAIN INTEREST
He said the HMOs were using the monies gotten from NHIS to make interest rather than treat the sick.
“I have an HMO living in Port Harcourt with huge debt in Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta,” he said adding that the Kano HMO lives in Lagos, while people are sick in Kano.
“What do they do with this money that we give them? They either fix this money in the banks to accrue interest, while our people go to the hospital and are treated shabbily,” he said.
“They use it to buy foreign exchange , or they use this money as collateral to get bank loans, this is what has been going on.”
The professor asked Nigerians to ask basic questions that would lead to answers on what exactly is happening in the NHIS.
HMOs PAID THE PRESS AND UNIONS AGAINST ME
The consultant paediatrician said the HMOs have paid the press and unions to oppose him via the media and through many protests.
“They are funding unions, they are funding the press, they have taken me to court to hold status quo.
“Fellow Nigerians, status quo is not acceptable, status quo is unjust, status quo is unfair, status quo is we give these unlienced entities people’s money to pay to hospitals and they are not paying”