Health News of Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Source: GNA

Government will implement one time premium of NHIS

Alhaji Amidu Sulemana, Upper West Regional Minister has reiterated government’s commitment to improving the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) through the one time premium payment.

He noted that currently, the bulk of the NHIS funds which was about 90% were obtained from the Health Insurance Levy and also investments made by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).

Alhaji Sulemana, who was speaking at the Regional forum of the Coalition of NGOs on Health in Wa, noted that premiums constituted less than 10% of the funds available to the scheme and could not pose any significant threat to the implementation of the one- time premium.

“If this is the case, why do we have so many ‘Doubting Thomases’ in our society on the implementation of the onetime premium policy? We are surely going to do it successfully. We cannot afford to disappoint Ghanaians on this promise”, he emphasized.

The Regional Minister said government had also been able to prevail on some private hospitals, which hitherto, did not accept NHIS clients to accept them, and appealed to service providers who were promoting this inhuman treatment to stop the practice and allow the system to grow.

Alhaji Sulemana said government deeply recognized the key role that stakeholders and partners like the Coalition of NGOs in Health were playing in ensuring a healthy and productive population in the country.

He said efforts were being made to roll out incentive packages beyond salaries, to allow Health Authorities at the District level to recruit and retain health workers in the district.

Mr. Abu Dokuwie Alhassan, a member of the Upper West branch of the Coalition of NGOs in Health, urged government to remain focused and ensure that more resources were injected into the Health Sector.

Government should also ensure that the Sector’s human resource was properly motivated and improve accessibility to quality healthcare, provide modern health facilities, improve the structures at the NHIS and ultimately work towards making healthcare free at the point of delivery.

Naa Dr. Ernest Sangsor-Tulong I, who chaired the occasion, said the Health Insurance system was not the problem but rather the management of the system.

He said people created loopholes out of which they were benefiting from.**