The Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye, says the government pays a total of about GHc120 million each month to settle financial claims raised by healthcare providers across the country.
According to him, despite government’s commitment to settle its financial obligation to the healthcare providers, there are still complaints some health facilities that charge illegal fees, contrary to the agreement they have with the National Health Insurance Authority. Dr. Okoe-Boye has therefore warned that his outfit will not hesitate to kick out any provider that charges illegal fees from holders of the National Health Insurance card.
Dr. Okoe-Boye made this known during his working visit to the Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu. According to him, government is working hard to ensure that access to universal healthcare becomes more affordable to the less privileged in society.
“Sometimes you will hear someone saying, I went to the hospital and at the end, they (healthcare providers) asked me to pay Ghc50.00 and so on. I must say that we as an outfit and the government, are working so hard to make sure that the issue of co-payment becomes a thing of the past. And, we have set up a co-payment committee, and in talks with some of the health providers to see how we can achieve that. Minister, let me tell you that annually we inject Ghc1.5 billion into health providers that are under the scheme in Ghana. Which is an average of Ghc120 million monthly. Most of the time the debts that these providers normally talk about are legacy debts. So, we have pumped money into the scheme and will not hesitate to erase any provider that charges illegal fees simply because the locals do not know. We are monitoring such hospitals closely and will take action soon.”
He further noted: “… the co-payment committee members which are in every district are working timely and effortlessly to ensure that hospitals, both private and the public that are having challenges with the system are addressed. The target of NHIS is to end the co-payment system and reach a level where an old lady from Bawku or Paga can have free healthcare without having to pay Ghc1.00 for anything. That, we shall get there, I can assure you.”
Touching on the upcoming active month celebration, Dr. Okoe-Boye noted that, it is an annual event organized by the NHIA where members will gather together to share ideas and challenges and how collectively they can work to improve effective delivery.
He hinted that this year’s celebration will be held in Tamale, where the keynote address is expected to mention a digitalized system that has been integrated into the NHIS system where members both new and old can sit in the comfort of their homes and become agents.
The CEO also paid a visit to the Paramount Chief of the Paga Traditional Area, Pe Awiah Awumpaga II where he called on traditional leaders to assist in the membership drive campaign.
“I will like to use this opportunity to call on my daddy, the chief, and all chiefs in Ghana to collaborate with us to achieve a universal membership. Our target is not to leave anyone behind in terms of the registration of the NHIS Card. So, daddy, our outfit is always ready for collaboration.”
The Paramount Chief, Pe Charles Awiah Awumpaga II however assured him of his full support, adding that his Palace has been advocating for community members to get registered and have their NHIS cards activated.
His visit to the region was to have discussions, and sharing of ideas with District and Regional officers on the needs and wants as well as challenges confronting their line of duties.
FROM: Ebo Bruce-Quansah, Bolgatanga