Health News of Friday, 17 August 2012
The National Health Insurance Scheme’s (NHIS) “One Time Premium” (OTP) would be implemented later this year on a voluntary basis.
The OTP would be optional and would be rolled out with the issuance of an instant biometric NHIS Identity Cards, Mr. Aminu Yakubu, Acting Upper West Regional Manager of the National Health Insurance Authority has announced.
Mr. Yakubu said this when addressing the personnel of the Authority at its half year review meeting in Wa on Thursday.
The review was to help identify challenges and adopt innovative ways to help improve the operations of the scheme.
Mr. Yakubu said the authority would also introduce “capitation” as a payment mechanism throughout Ghana next January, and planned some training programmes for its personnel prior to its implementation.
That strategy, he said, was the best option for cost containment and minimization of abuses in the system and it would help improve monitoring as well as reduce workload, especially claims processing.
Mr. Yakubu said the NHIA has for the past six months received total inflows of 4,685,762.04 Ghana Cedis, of which 3,732,035.38 representing 80 per cent were direct transfers from the Authority.
It has also generated some revenue from processing and reactivation fees and premiums mobilised as well as support from district assemblies and other stakeholders.
He said claims payment stood at 4,228,094.35 Ghana Cedis representing 82.8 per cent of the total expenditure of 5,105,653.73 Ghana Cedis.
Mr. Yakubu announced that 49,635 new members had enrolled onto the scheme while its existing membership of 140,884 clients renewed their identity cards during the period.
He said 387,430 clients representing 53 per cent of the region’s population were active members and more than 90 per cent of the people had registered at one point or the other with the scheme.
The Regional Manager said 304,525 attendances were recorded in the region at a total cost of 4,154,613.34 Ghana Cedis to the scheme and that the Authority had established a “call centre” for providers and clients to lodge their complaints and report incidents of suspected fraud cases and poor quality of care.
Mr. Yakubu urged the public to take advantage of the facility to help improve quality healthcare services in the communities and minimise the incidence of fraud.
He said the scheme’s vehicles were old and expensive to maintain partly due to the deplorable nature of roads in the region and appealed to government to replace them.
Mr. Yakubu reminded personnel of the Authority that they were public servants and were barred from active political engagement.
Mr. Richard Basadi, Regional Health Insurance Coordinator, called on NHIS to partner the Ghana Health Service to restore quality healthcare services to the people.
He said the health sector in the region was faced with personnel challenges saying the absence of qualified medical doctors, midwives and nurses were impacting negatively on the quality healthcare delivery in the region.
He appealed to government to look critically into the manpower needs of the region to enhance quality healthcare delivery.