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Health News of Sunday, 5 August 2018

Source: gbcghana.com

NHIS enrolment increases in Upper West Region

The National Health Insurance Scheme, (NHIS), in the Upper West Region over the last six months has increased enrolment unto the scheme by 33,000 and 41,000.

In December 2017, the membership of the scheme was 391,000 and 68,000 but as June 2018, it was 424,000 and 109,000 representing a growth of 8.4 per cent over the period.

The Upper West Regional Director of the National Health Insurance Authority, (NHIA), Abass Suleymana who shared the statistics at the mid-year performance review meeting in Wa added that 51 percent of the people of the in the Region are enrolled unto the scheme which is higher than the national average of 37 per cent.

According to Emmanuel, Mr. Suleymana traced the evolution of health care financing in Ghana from 1957 to date and said the NHIS is contributing significantly as far as health outcomes are concerned and that the government is also doing well by supporting the scheme through what he termed “health spending”.

The Upper West Regional Director of NHIA said Ghana’s out of pocket expenditure per capita decreased from 38 Dollars in 2010 to 25 Dollars in 2015.

Financial sustainability, identification of the poor and vulnerable, delays in reimbursing service providers due to huge volumes and values of claims, compromised quality of care, illegal charges to insured members as well as delays in the submission of claims have been identified as some of the challenges of the National Health Insurance Scheme.

Mr. Suleymana outlined some efficiency measures being rolled out to up the game in service delivery.

To this end, the scheme will ensure financial sustainability of the scheme through innovative efficiency measures which include: Proposed additional funding sources; digitization of membership registrations and renewals; rolling out electronic-claim nationwide; strengthening quality assurance and financial auditing for improved accountability to the public as well as the review of the current law to introduce measures that allows stiffer sanctions to reduce fraud and other malfeasance to serve as a deterrent to criminal minds.

In the Upper West Region, the Wa Municipality has the highest coverage of 71 % in terms of active members as at June 2018 whilst Wa East District has the lowest of 32%.