General News of Thursday, 18 October 2012
Chief Executive Officer for National Health Insurance Authority, Sylvester Mensah has described as ignorance, comments made by New Patriotic Party standard bearer Nana Akufo-Addo and some leading members of the party, to the effect that the National Health Insurance Authority was collapsing, due to the poor manner with which it was being managed under the National Democratic Congress administration.
Nana Akufo Addo warned the NHIS was not safe in the hands of the NDC, while addressing a health forum in Sunyani dubbed “Saving our Health Service, Keeping our People Healthy,” on Wednesday as part of his tour of the Brong Ahafo region.
According to Nana Addo the NDC’s record in managing the NHIS, has been abysmal and one can conclude that “either they do not really believe in a national health insurance system, and their advocacy of a one-time premium reinforces this perception; or they lack the competence to administer it.”
“We must save the NHIS now from the incompetent hands of the NDC,” he charged.
Akufo-Addo also pledged his administration will offer all children under 18 years free access to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), if the NPP was voted into office in the December polls.
He said parents will no longer have to be subscribers to the NHIS for their children to benefit, adding that “millions more of children will be covered by free healthcare.”
However, addressing a news conference on Thursday, Mr. Sylvester Mensah described the NPP flagbearer’s comment as falsehood purposefully to misinform the public adding that, “the NHIA is too serious to be toyed with.”
“The statements were blatant lies, half truths which smack of mischief and complete ignorance,” Mr. Mensah stated.
The NHIA Boss said under the current laws of the scheme, children under 18 years are already covered without they having to be tied to their parents’ contributions and described Nana Addo’s promise as “pathetic”.
“The hit and run comments being made on political platforms is becoming disturbing. Ghana’s health insurance is considered one of the best in the world. Health insurance in Ghana and Thailand has received worldwide commendation particularly because of the way it is being managed efficiently,” he noted.
In a related development, Mr. Mensah has criticised his predecessor Ras Boateng, for running what he termed “an administration which was far from efficient management.”
According to Mr. Mensah, at the time Mr. Boateng left office in 2009, he was Head of Human Resource, Director of Finance and Head of Funding despite the fact that the Authority was one of the largest employers in the country due to the size of its work force.
He said in order to make the NHIA become financially efficient, the law regulating its operations has been reviewed and is awaiting presidential assent.