Politics of Friday, 14 February 2014

Source: Tv3network.com

Parliament suspends debate on ‘Capitation’ motion

Parliament on Thursday, February 13, 2014 began debate on a motion that is urging the Minister of Health to terminate the current ‘Capitation Policy’ of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the Ashanti Region.

The motion was, however, suspended by Speaker Edward Doe Adjaho after it suffered a back-and-forth wrangling on the floor.

It was tabled for consideration by a former Minister of Health, Dr Richard Anane, who is also Member of Parliament for Nhyiaeso Constituency.

Dr Anane argued that the 'Capitation' programme – which is being piloted in the Ashanti Region – has failed to achieve its purpose and has brought punishment rather than advantages on NHIS subscribers.

He expressed fears about a decision by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to roll out the programme in the Eastern, Brong Ahafo and Volta regions.

“If Ashanti is complaining, and given the clear evidence of an associated increase in out-of-pocket expenditure for client/subscriber, should this be allowed to be spread across the nations?” he quizzed.

He analogized that the capitation is like ‘retainership’ for a lawyer, who is paid some agreed amount whether services are rendered or not.

“The lawyer may receive extra payment when called upon to render services. The difference, Mr Speaker, is that this arrangement is not made to the detriment of the lawyer,” Dr Anane explained.

Among members who expressed views on the motion are Former Ministers of Health Alban Kingsford Bagbin, who also represents the Nadowli Kaleo Constituency, and Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, Majority Leader and Member for Nandom Constituency.