Nigeria to study Ghana’s model of health insurance scheme

NHISDr Sam Adjei, former Deputy Director of Ghana Health Service, (GHS) on Tuesday noted that Ghana’s health Insurance scheme could be a model for Africa.

He said although Ghana’s model could serve as a guide to others, cultural, population and other differences should be considered to prevent pitfalls.

Dr Adjei, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Health and Social Services, made the observation in Accra, during an interaction with a 16 -member delegation from Nigeria in Ghana to under study the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

The study tour, which was sponsored by International Financial Corporation of the World Bank Group, would expose the delegates to policy makers at the Ministry of Health, GHS, the NHIS as well as field visits.

He said Ghana was able to make strides in the implementation of the scheme because the country had a common enemy called cash and carry and that all the political parties supported the abolition of the system.

“We were able to forge a common front with minor variation among the parties,” Dr Adjei said.

He said a strong and well organised stakeholder consultation including community participation, are critical in designing and implementing health insurance.

Dr Nii Ayite Coleman of the MOH noted that Ghana had been successful with the NHIS because of effective political dialogue and community participation.

“We have been able to develop this social insurance far different from the western model because we had community based schemes running at the district level and all we had to do was to build on it and replicate them throughout the country,” he said.

He urged the Nigerian delegation to be wary of donor interference since that would shift their focus.

Dr Coleman asked them to also guard against government interference.

The one-week study tour is intended to help Nigeria streamline its health financing mechanism, according to Dr Abdurahman Sambo, Acting Existing Secretary of the Nigeria Health Insurance Scheme.

He said even though Ghana and Nigeria are at par there was the need to visit the country because it has started implementation and had made giant strides.

He said the delegation’s interests are in the area of policy, Legal and regulatory framework, business and funding requirement needed for the attainment of universal coverage.

Senator Chris Nwabueze Ngige said the delegation is in the country to learn and know how Ghana is dealing with the challenges confronting the NHIS and how the country is correcting these mistakes to improve what Nigeria is doing.

It is estimated that about 8.6 million of Ghanaians are covered by the NHIS.

Source: GNA

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