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National Health Insurance ready for one-time premium

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The National Health Insurance Authority has indicated that it is set to introduce the one-time health insurance premium by December this year.

This follows successful actuarial studies which support the feasibility of the one-time premium concept.

A programme to outline the commencement of the new scheme will soon be made public.

The Chief Executive of the NHIA, Mr Sylvester Mensah, disclosed this in Tema after a clean-up exercise organised by the authority at the Tema General Hospital.

He indicated that although the service was confronted by numerous challenges such as corruption and fraudulent claims, as well as falsification of claims by various service providers, which were hindering a smooth implementation of targeted projects, the authority was determined to overcome them, since it had developed measures to solve them.

According to Mr Mensah, countries the world over were still struggling to design models for health insurance schemes. Ghana’s system had, therefore, been adopted as a guiding model by various countries seeking integrated health insurance schemes for their citizens.

He said the NHIA was considering the development of alternative payment models to reduce incidents of fraud and abuse and expressed optimism that when implemented, these approaches would address the challenges.

The Deputy Director in charge of Corporate Affairs, Mr Eric Ametor Quamye, said the 2009 audit report on the scheme’s utilisation showed vast ascendancy, a situation he described as reducing incidents of self-medication.

He said the authority’s outflow exceeded its inflows, thereby stretching the scheme but assured subscribers that the authority would continue to develop positive approaches that would ensure that the health needs of the citizenry were protected.

Mr Quamye indicated that the NHIA, as a corporate institution, sought to have a better working relationship with people, as a result, the authority had decided to change the face of its social responsibility programme by embarking on a nation-wide clean-up campaign aimed at reaching out to the people.

He said the campaign, which would be considered as a community outreach programme in various health centres, was aimed at reducing the occurrence of communicable diseases.

He charged service providers not to take advantage of the prompt payment of claims to indulge in overbilling.

The authority also presented assorted items including baby foods, napkin and towels costing GH¢400 to the children’s ward of the hospital.

The hospital administrator Ms Patience Amey Mamatta, who received the items on behalf of the hospital, expressed profound appreciation to the staff and management of NHIA for the gesture.

She said the hospital was facing a myriad of problems as a result of the government’s neglect over the years.

She indicated that the construction of a new theatre block and pharmacy from the hospital’s internally generated funds had been stalled for over a year now because of non-availability of funds.

“These projects were aimed at easing congestion and overcrowding at the existing facilities, which have not witnessed any expansion since 1952, although patient ratios in these departments have been on the ascendancy,” Ms Mamatta lamented.

The hospital experienced severe water shortages, resulting, in its management spending GH¢1,350 daily on the purchase of water from tankers that supplied the facility.

She, therefore, appealed for the government’s intervention to help construct an underground tanker system costing GH¢3million to ease the pressure on the hospital’s finances.

Source: Daily Graphic

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