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General News of Friday, 13 July 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

NHIA cries for increased funding to sustain scheme

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has said its current financing model is unable to fund its daily operations.

According to the NHIA, its source of finance; 2.5% of Value Added Tax and 2.5% contributions from SSNIT, which amounts to $25 for each person per year, is woefully inadequate.

Speaking to the media during a stakeholder engagement with the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Dr. Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu, the NHIA Boss, Dr Samuel Annor, said the Authority would be more effective if the amount is increased to at least $100 per person per year.

“For what we are using now, the 2.5% VAT and the 2.5% SSNIT is grossly inadequate. It works out just about $25 per person for a whole year. We need as a nation to move it to about $100 per person per year. That is what we are working towards.”

The Authority has in the past few months reiterated the need for its funding allocation to be increased to ensure the scheme’s sustainability.

Recently, it made a proposal to the government to increase the the 2.5% NHIS levy collected under the Value Added Tax (VAT) to 3.5%.

Dr. Yaw Annor had earlier disclosed that the NHIA had submitted a proposal to levy tobacco and alcohol to fund the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). A proposal that every worker contributes 1% of his/her salary to the NHIS, while his/her employer adds 2% to the scheme has also been submitted.



According to him, these are some of the options for finding additional sources of funding to sustain the NHIS policy.

Dr. Annor explained that the reason for the suggestion to tax alcohol and tobacco is borne out of the fact that the nation is likely to spend more in treating people with alcohol and tobacco-related illness which will affect the programme.

He has also told Citi News that the NHIS is looking to automate its claims processing system to ensure efficiency in its operation.



“We receive claims from service providers and process is properly and not manually, but electronically with all the vetting, the rules and everything that is expected in every civilized country.”