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NHIA to go ahead with capitation programme despite refusal by private medical practitioners

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The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) says it will go ahead with the implementation of the pilot health insurance capitation programme in the Ashanti Region despite the refusal of the private medical and dental practitioners in the region to participate in the exercise.

Disclosing this in Kumasi Thursday after a hectic meeting between the top brass of the NHIA and the practitioners, the Chief Executive of the NHIA, Mr Sylvester Mensah, said, “the decision to pursue the capitation is irreversible.”

The meeting was organised by the NHIA with the view to getting the regional branch of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Association to reconsider their decision, but nothing positive came out of it.

Heated exchanges sometimes with tempers flaring characterised the meeting, which was also attended by the Ashanti Regional Minister, Dr Kwaku Agyemang Mensah.

While indicating that in principle they were not against capitation, the association maintained that they could not be part of an exercise that would cripple their businesses.

Dr Harry Tawiah, regional president of the association, told the meeting that they would stand by the old contract they had with the NHIA and not the new one on the capitation.

He did not understand why the rate for the treatment of a patient had been pegged at GH¢1.75 per month under capitation when the old system was GH¢12.

He also questioned the basis for pegging the rate for delivery at GH¢1.70 saying this will collapse health institutions if it was implemented.

“What the NHIA is doing under capitation has no basis business-wise and we will not be part.”

Dr Tawiah further raised questions as to the reasons behind the selection of the Ashanti Region for the capitation.

“It is wrong to choose the most populous region for such a pilot project. At worst a district should have been chosen,” he said.

But Mensah would not agree with any of his submissions saying a careful analysis was made of the situation before the NHIA decided to implement the pilot scheme.

However, Mr Mensah said the capitation was a product of the NHIS and it was binding on the association to be part of it.
He threatened that the NHIA may be compelled to `reject claims request if the association failed to join the capitation.

He stated that the decision to choose Ashanti Region was taken because the region had all the qualities to meet the demands of the pilot scheme.

Source: Daily Graphic

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