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Health News of Friday, 31 January 2014

Source: NHIA

We need to achieve more; NHIA boss tells management team

The Chief Executive of the NHIA, Sylvester Mensah has tasked his management team to “achieve more.”

He encouraged the team to “work smart” and to be more judicious and “efficient in the use of available resources.”

Mr Mensah’s comments, which form his epistle to his management staff to chart a new direction for 2014, come after the NHIS experienced an action-packed 2013, marked with many successes, reforms and some challenges.

E-claims processing was initiated, the instant issuance of ID cards based on biometric data started and many other reforms were initiated.

2013 further marked 10 years of the law that established the NHIS, which was commemorated with a number of activities including an international conference attended by delegates from over a hundred countries across the world.

Though Mr Mensah remarked that 2013 has been a good year for the NHIS, he entreated his team to close the chapter on the past year and move ahead with renewed strength and commitment.

“Yesterday is gone with all its successes and challenges. Today presents us with new realities. Realities that throw-up new questions, new challenges and new approaches,” he observed.

The management retreat, which was attended by NHIA senior management, some invited external experts and board members of the NHIA, reviewed the performance of various directorates and departments of the Scheme and also made important pronouncements and suggestions on some challenges the Scheme was facing.

The meeting also brainstormed on how to quicken the claims processing turn-around time, complete the cycle of injecting efficiency in the Consolidated Premium Account concept for premium collection, improve communication with stakeholders and a host of other areas.

According to the Chief Executive, the NHIA has a “good team that is ever getting better and more technically proficient.” He therefore remarked that the team has no excuse to fail and the people of Ghana are expecting more from the Scheme this year.

The meeting was therefore prodded to think about the Authority’s plan for implementing family planning, mental health, prostate cancer and the differently abled persons in the Scheme, as the NHIA looks forward to enhancing its benefits package. The team was also made to strategize on how to capture all junior high and senior high students on to the Scheme.

New governance structures and committees emerged that according to the meeting, would change the operational culture of the NHIA.

Mr Mensah concluded that, the NHIA has the team and talents to succeed, and according to him, what was needed was functional accountability and effective leadership at all levels of the Scheme’s operations.

The team expressed their desire to work harder for the NHIS to achieve more and become more responsive to the needs of the public in providing financial risk protection against the cost of basic healthcare in the country.