Interview with Jamel Zaier, 58, Secretary General of the National Health Insurance Fund (CNAM), Tunisia.
In 2020, the International Social Security Association (ISSA)’s Diploma Training Programme shifted to an e-learning format as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Between June and December, 14 online training courses took place, on the different ISSA Guidelines. The ISSA interviewed a trainer and three participants from the course on the ISSA Guidelines on Error, Evasion and Fraud in Social Security Systems. It was provided through the EN3S Digital Campus e-learning platform in late 2020.
Where do you work and what is your position?
I’m a graduate of the Institute of Advanced Business Studies (Institut des Hautes Etudes Commerciales) at the University of Carthage and a financial auditor by training. I was Accounting Director at the National Health Insurance Fund (Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Maladie – CNAM) of Tunisia, then Central Financial Director, Accounting and Collection. I’m currently Secretary General of the CNAM.
What is a normal day at work like?
I work Monday to Friday from 7.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. I manage financial, accounting and collection processes. I supervise the management of personnel, buildings and equipment and the procurement of logistical and administrative services. I’m also responsible for information systems and coordination with all regional and local CNAM centres.
How has the coronavirus crisis affected your life and work?
I work via secure remote access both at the office and at home. The current priority both nationwide and at the CNAM is to avoid the spread of contamination as much as possible. We help staff implement distancing and protective measures in the workplace, and our current workforce has been cut in half.
What do you think of the current e-learning course?
I find the online training programme very interesting in many respects. Although it has been dictated by measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, its advantages, linked in particular to the use of new technologies, are greater flexibility and practical training suited to the pace of the participants.
Despite my many professional commitments, I was able to follow all the courses and participate in all the virtual classes, except for the first class which I missed for purely technical reasons. I greatly appreciated the learning arrangements, the thematic documentation provided, and the quality of the trainers’ communication and facilitation skills when leading the weekly classes. This online course is very practical and quite flexible.
What did you expect and what did you get out of it? Will the course be useful for your work?
My goal in signing up for this training course was to enrich my thinking and practice in the prevention, detection and control of error, evasion and fraud (EEF) in social security systems in general and health insurance systems in particular.
The course helped me better understand the objectives in the fight against EEF, and the preconditions, prerequisites and actions needed to achieve these objectives. At the end of the course, I drew up a draft action plan for the CNAM’s fight against EEF, covering the main objectives, actions to be taken, actors and planned deadlines.
Do you have a message for your colleagues working in ISSA member institutions?
I’d like to encourage all my colleagues working in ISSA member institutions to look into the ISSA Diploma training programme on the various guidelines for improving the performance of social security administrations. Participating in online training courses helps you make the most of your time and lets you benefit from a flexible training structure, better manage practical aspects in a learning environment and above all deepen your thinking on the chosen training topics in an environment conducive to the sharing of ideas and good practices between social security institutions.