National Health Insurance registers over 1.5 million in Brong-Ahafo

StethoscopeThe membership of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) continues to increase in the Brong-Ahafo Region, Mr Sebastian Alagpulinsa, the Acting Brong-Ahafo Regional Director of the NHIA disclosed on Tuesday.

The scheme has registered 1,507,469 people, representing 61 per cent of the region’s population of about 2,310,983, (according to the 2010 Population and Housing Census).

Mr Alagpulinsa was addressing the opening session of the 2014 annual review meeting of the Authority in Sunyani, on the theme “11 years of NHIS implementation in the Brong-Ahafo Region- successes, challenges and the way forward”.

He expressed worry about the delays in reimbursing service providers but added that, that should not serve as a panacea for cash and carry and co-payment at provider sites.

Mr. Alagpulinsa called for effective engagement between the Authority and all stakeholders for greater understanding on the operations of the scheme to help devise other alternative ways of funding it.

He called on those who had not registered yet to do so and appealed to service providers to exercise restraint as the Authority tries to reimburse all service cost.

Mr. Justice Samuel Adjei, the Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister said, as was usual with most pro-poor social interventions, the NHIS had brought along with it many organizational and service management challenges to hospitals and other facilities.

The challenges include cash flow delays, lack of capacity to procure essential and non-drug consumables as well as the inability to take initiatives and carry on effective administrative work, he mentioned.

To overcome these challenges, the Deputy Regional Minister recommended that service providers under the scheme needed to be streamlined to remove cash flow bottlenecks.

Mr. Adjei entreated service providers to diversify their sources of funding to enable them to cope with the late releases from the Authority.

This, he observed, would enable the Authority to cope with the huge management problems confronting hospitals and the scheme.

Dr Timothy Letsa, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Director of Health Services, who presided, advised the managers of the scheme to be more innovative and put in place best strategies to sustain it.

Source: GNA

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