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Health News of Friday, 30 November 2018


Don’t use unavailability of drugs to exploit NHIS member - NHIA to service providers

Authorities of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has asked service providers to stock their pharmacies and stop using the lack of particular drugs as an excuse to charge members extra monies.

The authority says it is the responsibility of the service providers to fully stock their pharmacies with the drugs on the drug list as per the contract with the authority.

“Don’t use don’t have this drug here an excuse to charge our members extra monies. Don’t coerce people to pay for different drugs. If you can’t do this as a service provider, you may be kind enough to opt out,” he stated

The Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs of the NHIA, Mr Oswald Essuah-Mensah at a media briefing in Cape Coast on Tuesday November 27, 2018 on the introduction of the mobile membership renewal service to be introduce by the NHIA next month said service providers who were not ready to comply with the new enhanced acceptable standards would be taken off the scheme.

With the new service members of the scheme can renew membership with their phones and save the time and money in travelling to the office of the NHIA to renew membership.

High Standards

He said the authority had revisited its standards of operations with a renewed commitment to quality health care delivery for its members.

Thus, he said the authority expected service providers who were key stakeholders in the provision of services for members to adopt same high standards.

Poor Member Experience

Mr Essuah-Mensah indicated that the poor member experience in the past had caused dissatisfaction among members leading to a reduction in the membership figures over the years.

He said the role of service providers in achieving the anticipated quality for the scheme’s members was critical adding that no service provider would be allowed to bring the standards down.

He noted that the fact that they pay about 30 million cedis in claims to the various service providers a year was an indication the service providers needed the authority to survive.

He assured members that the new mobile membership renewal service would greatly enhance efficiency of the scheme, reduce time and cost.

Mr Essuah-Mensah said the authority was committed to ensuring that the service providers were paid promptly for services to enable to give off their best.

He debunked assertions that drugs on the essential list of the scheme were inferior saying they were of good quality.

He appealed to the telecommunication companies to expand their coverage to enable all their members to have access to the mobile renewal service.

Boost Membership

The Director Membership and Operations of the NHIA, Mr Ben Kusi said the introduction of the new mobile renewal service had also ready chalked significantly membership successes in the two pilot districts and added that when scaled up it would significantly boost membership.

The team also called on the Oguaa Traditional Council to support efforts in educating the populace on the new service.