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A 16 -member delegation from Nigeria to under study Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) have ended their week-long visit after discussions with their Ghanaian counterparts on the implementation of the Scheme.
The interaction was intended to help Nigeria to streamline her health financing mechanism for expansion, and they held discussions with policy makers at the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, the NHIA, NHIS and accredited Mutual Health Scheme providers.
Dr Kenneth Korve, General Manager for Planning Research and Monitoring Department of the NHIS in Nigeria, at the closing ceremony on Friday, indicated that Ghana was far ahead in Africa in the implementation of the scheme.
He said the delegation had picked up some tips in areas such as the governance structure of the NHIS in Ghana and the level of commitment of the staff, among other things, and would adopt what would fit into their own system to make health care accessible to Nigerians.
Mr Sylvester Mensah, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana’s NHIA said although the country had made major strides in the implementation of the Scheme, all was not rosy.
He cited challenges such as the exemption policy, which discharged persons who were 18 and below, the aged, pregnant women and those who were genuinely challenged financially from paying for health care services as well as the capitation system.
He said other areas, such as the value chain mechanism, clinical audit, claims processing centres and instant issuance of Identity Cards (ID) for clients were being examined to make them more efficient and effective.
Mr Mensah said the Authority began a pilot project with the Military and Police to ensure instant issuance of ID cards to clients to eliminate the system where prospective clients had to wait for a period of time before they were issued with their service cards and expressed the hope to rope in the entire country by the end of the year.
He thanked the delegation and the Nigerian government for the confidence it has in Ghana’s system and stressed that the NHIA would continue to work towards further improvement of the Scheme.
He also expressed the hope that the visit would remain an exchange programme between the two countries to help share knowledge and improve upon their health services and systems.