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Health News of Monday, 29 February 2016


Health insurance providers push for upward review of drug prices

The Health Insurance Service Providers Association of Ghana (HISPAG) is pushing for the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to review upwards the prices of some drugs on the new medicines list for the NHIS.

The NHIA last Friday announced new tariffs and a drug list which is intended to reflect the increasing cost of healthcare due to the current economic difficulties.

But Speaking to Citi News, the Executive Secretary of HISPAG, Frank Torblu, called for another review of prices of the drug list because most of the drugs on the new price list do not reflect the prevailing market conditions in the country.

Mr Torblu noted that if the prices were not reviewed to reflect the prevailing market prices, the sustainability of the insurance scheme will be negatively affected.

“Some of the prices are definitely out of place so we will have to quickly ask for that. The issue is that if we don’t ask for a review of those out of place, it means that we are going to supply below the current prevailing prices and that will not order well for the sustainability of our hospitals.”

He explained that with the current price list, insurance providers will be incurring losses from the moment they decide to cater for health insurance clients.

“If you go to buy a medicine in the open market which cost 25 cedis and then you are supposed to give it to a health insurance client by health insurance standards it means that before you begin to take care of the patient, you are losing 5 cedis from the start.”

Mr Toblu gave assurance that HISPAG will notify government as soon as possible to adjust the prices to prevent hospitals form losing money in the future.

“So we are saying that if that situation prevails for a longer period of time, the hospitals will be losing so much amount of money so those prices that are out of place, we will prompt them to quickly adjust them.”