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General News of Thursday, 10 March 2011

Source: myjoyonline.com

Oxfam damns health insurance scheme

An International Non Governmental Organisation, Oxfam has issued a damning report about the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme in Ghana.

The organisation says the health policy introduced in 2003 and touted as the panacea to Ghana’s health care problems benefits only but a few, even though majority pay for its implementation.

As at June 30, 2010, figures released by the NHIA reveal that a total of 15,555,816 persons have been registered under the scheme nationwide representing over sixty per cent of the country’s population.

But Oxfam says that figure has been hugely over exaggerated. The report says many Ghanaians are still paying for health care services at the various health posts, akin to the cash-and-carry the NHIS sought to wipe out of the system.

According to the Health Policy Advisor of Oxfam, Anna Marriot, only 18 per cent of the country’s population benefit from the inefficient health care system laced with mismanagement.

“The health system at the moment is very unfair and also inefficient. Even though everybody is paying for it through VAT but only the lucky few benefit.

“And we feel and now research shows that the coverage of the NHIS has been hugely over exaggerated and could be as low as 18 per cent,” she told Joy News.

She said the data of the NHIS is faulty and must be reviewed.

But officials of the NHIA have vehemently challenged the report by Oxfam.

Deputy Corporate Affairs Manager of NHIA, Ametor Quarme has contested the source of information by Oxfam.

“They were very vague and ambiguous as to what their source was so that we can all interrogate it. To say that information available to us from what source?” he quizzed.

“We are the custodians of information on the NHIS. We register people scheme by scheme all across the country. And when we put figures into the public domain as you may find out then we are very sure of what we are saying,” he argued.

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