NHIS has engendered Ghana’s healthcare sector – CEO

Sylvester Mensah - NHIA boss
Sylvester Mensah – NHIA boss

The 10th Anniversary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), was on Thursday launched in Accra with the resolve to improve the efficiency of services to the satisfaction of all its clients.

Mr Sylvester Mensah, Chief Executive Officer, National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) said for instance, the new law, Act 852 of 2012 which had been introduced to consolidate the NHIS, would help remove administrative bottlenecks, reduce opportunities for corruption, and make for more effective governance of the schemes and provide impetus for on-going reforms.

The theme for the anniversary is: “Towards Universal Coverage: Increasing Enrolment whist Ensuring Sustainability” and it is to be marked with various activities within the next two months.

A new logo for the Scheme was also launched at the ceremony.

During the launching, Mr Mensah said the bold step taken some ten years ago to introduce the scheme in Ghana under Act, 2003 (Act 650) had indeed helped in engendering the healthcare industry.

He said the NHIS had also helped in sustaining numerous healthcare facilities as a supply chain across the country, adding that the Scheme continued to provide financial risk protection for the millions who depended on it for the removal of financial barriers to modern healthcare

“Today we pay tribute to the architects of the scheme and the well-meaning individuals and groups whose efforts, commitment, and dedication have brought the NHIS this far”, he noted.

He described the 10th anniversary as a good time to take stock and re-strategize for the future and improve on the achievement of the scheme, which indicated many successes despite its imperfections.

He said up to 90 per cent of patients who thronged most of the healthcare facilities in the country were NHIS subscribers while 85 to 90 per cent of Internally Generated Funds (IGF) in public healthcare facilities was derived from NHIS reimbursements.

According to Mr Mensah, indications were that the introduction of the scheme had occasioned an improvement in the healthcare seeking behaviour of many people in the country, who now tended to seek medical attention earlier than before.

He said within the short period of its implementation, the NHIS had also gained international recognition and acclaim, culminating in the UN Award for Excellence and Leadership in November 2010.

Numerous study tours by delegations from foreign countries and institutions, he noted, confirmed the status of Ghana’s NHIS as an emerging model for countries in the Developing World and an international hub for knowledge and experience sharing.

He said the introduction of instantly issued Biometric ID cards to eliminate difficulties in ID card management and authentication of subscribers at healthcare facilities was also underway.

Mr Mensah said the NHIS was now a well-known brand, maturing with age and experience, and undergoing identity transformation and therefore it was necessary to use the occasion to refurbish and enhance its image in order to reflect its improvements over time, growth at home, and high profile abroad.

He announced that the Authority was to introduce the instant issuance of NHIS ID Cards to subscribers as well as to improve efficiency in the operations of the Authority.

Ms Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Health in a speech read on her behalf by her Deputy, Mr Tia Alfred Sugri, said at age 10, it was time to confront the realities concerning the challenges that had characterised the growth and sustainability.

Again she said it was time to consider the proposals and calls that had been made to consider additional funding arrangements to expand the scheme’s financial base and contain costs so that the Scheme could provide the population with the social protection it deserves.

Ms Ayittey also pledged government’s commitment to make the NHIS sustainable and therefore urged the NHIA to live its brand promise of efficiency and instant ID Card delivery, and encourage the people of Ghana to take part in the events lined up to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the NHIS.

Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, Chairman of the Public Account Committee and a former CEO of the NHIA commended the current staff for building on the fortunes of the NHIS.

He advised that a programme should be introduced to source and organise funds from corporate bodies and all other stakeholders to help finance and sustain the scheme.

Activities lined-up for the anniversary celebrations include nationwide inter schools competition on health and NHIS, staff durbars, lectures and media interaction programmes.

Various corporate bodies and development partners are sponsoring the celebration with close to GH¢800,000.00.

Source: GNA

1 Comment
  1. pk says

    Well done for establishing a healthcare BEACON. Well done to all the brave people who brought the scheme to light. Well done to all Ghanaians for their support. The NHIS will not disappoint you.

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