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Health News of Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

NHIS not collapsing; NPP lied - Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama has rejected claims by the opposition New Patriotic Party that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is collapsing under his watch.

The NPP has on several platforms accused government of starving the NHIS of funds thus crippling the health sector.

According to them, the scheme which begun under the erstwhile Kufuor administration was doing very well until the NDC took over, but has failed to give it the needed attention to grow.

But President Mahama while addressing Ghanaians in the Northern Region during his campaign tour said the NHIS scheme has become “very strong” under the NDC government.

“Our political opponents say NHIS has collapsed. NHIS in 2008 saw 9 million outpatient visitations to hospitals. Last year, 2015, the NHIS has grown in outpatients visitations from 9 million to 29 million. How can that be a scheme that has collapsed? In 2008, the total amount of money that was paid to facilities for providing treatments to NHIA [National Health Insurance Authority] patients was GHc183 million. Last year, 2015, the total amount of money that was paid by NHIA to facilities across the country for treatments given to NHIA cardholders was more than GHc1 billion. How can that be a scheme that has collapsed?”

President Mahama who is seeking another term in office said when the NHIS was introduced, “it was predicted that from the way it was structured, it could last only till 2010,” adding that “we have extended the life of the NHIA from 2010 to 2016 and it is still providing service.”

He also explained that government is currently restructuring the scheme to enable it stand the test of time.

“If we want it to be sustainable, we have to restructure it and that is why we are introducing computerized claims system and capitation so that we can make it more sustainable. So if anybody comes and tells you that the NHIA has collapsed tell the person it is [a] lie. Tell the person that the NHIA is very strong,” President Mahama added.