The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer MD/CEO of Avon Healthcare Limited, Mrs. Adesimbo Ukiri, a leading health insurance company in Nigeria, has called for improved partnership between hospitals and Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs).
Ukiri, who was speaking at the De Renaissance Hotel, Lagos, during the first edition of the Avon HMO’s Providers Quality Forum, a special training and awareness programme organised for staff of hospitals under the Avon network, described hospitals as key players in the success of health insurance in the country.
She said: “We believe that hospitals have a crucial role to play if Nigeria is going to take Health insurance to the great heights that we all want. HMOs can make all the promises in the world to enrolees, but it is through the hospitals that they (enrolees) will experience our service. In a sense, you can say that the hospitals are the taste of the pudding for enrolees. But we also understand that historically, HMOs have not partnered hospitals the way they are supposed to. At Avon HMO, our hospitals are our partners, and that is why we are taking the lead in forging a mutually beneficial partnership with our care providers through this event.”
Also speaking during the event, Head, Providers Services Unit of the group, Dr. Banjo Oni expressied delight at the huge turnout at the event. Oni stated that the forum was the first in a series of engagements intended to improve the quality of the service delivery that Avon enrolees enjoy from hospitals under the HMO’s network.
He added: “This is our first Provider Quality Forum and we are encouraged by the outcome. We have more than 200 representatives from our partner hospitals across the country in attendance and it has been an open exchange of ideas between our partner hospitals and Avon. We intend to do this every quarter and then go round the country with it. The ultimate aim is to work closely with our hospitals to improve the quality of service delivery, as well as understand the challenges that they face in the course of their work. At the end of the day, we want to step up the level of education, skills, capabilities and competences in these hospitals, both with the clinical staff and their administrative staff, in order to improve service delivery.
“Currently, we are looking at getting over 10 million subscribers into Avon HMO. But, in order for us to get to that level, we have to make health insurance attractive to those who are currently using it. If we can do that, then they will become advocates of the entire system, and that will help attract new subscribers.”
Speakers at the event included head, business development and sales; Mrs. Kehinde Oyesiku, quality improvement manager, Dr. Zelia Toje, both of Avon HMO; and a motivational speaker, Mr. Maxwell Ubah, amongst others.
Also at the event were special prize presentations to three hospitals under the Avon HMO network, which were adjudged to have performed well in service delivery and prompt filling of enrolees’ claims. The hospitals were: Blue Cross, Afrimed Specialist and Bee Hees Hospitals, all located in Lagos.