Gov’t to ensure smooth implementation of NHIS – Health Minister

Alban Bagbin - Health Minister

Mr Alban Sumanu Bagbin, the Health Minister, has underlined the government’s commitment to dialogue with all stakeholders to fashion out a comprehensive and sustainable health financing policy for the benefit of all Ghanaians.

He said they would not impose on anything that would be detrimental to any group of people in the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Speaking at a meeting with service providers and other stakeholders on the insurance capitation in Kumasi, the Minister acknowledged that criticisms and concerns raised by some of them regarding the implementation in its current form were in good faith and meant to assist improve the system for the betterment of subscribers.

The meeting was held at the instance of the Health Minister to provide an opportunity for him to hear directly from the stakeholders the difficulties they have with the new payment system being piloted Ashanti Region.

The Private Medical and Dental Practitioners had vowed not to have anything doing with the capitation while the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana is in court challenging its implementation.

The Ghana Health Service and Ghana Registered Midwives Association had also raised serious concerns about the system in its present form and called for its suspension.

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is, however, obstinate in its decision to go ahead and this is jeopardizing the operation of the health insurance scheme in the region as subscribers are denied health care at some facilities and at times forced to pay for services rendered to them.

Mr Bagbin after listening to the presentations by the leadership of the various stakeholders admitted they indeed have genuine concerns and pledged to convey these to the President for immediate action.

He pleaded with the leadership of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana to reconsider the court action against the NHIA.

The Minister said the government needed the private sector’s contribution to promote quality health care delivery in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of health for all by 2015.

Stakeholders who made presentations at the meeting accused the NHIA of trying to impose the capitation system on them and demanded that it should be suspended immediately until all grey areas were tackled.

They also called for intensification of public education on the capitation system to help the people to have better understanding.

Source: GNA

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