Delayed NHIS payments affecting healthcare delivery in Upper West

NHISHealth authorities in the Upper West Region say delayed reimbursement from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) continues to thwart healthcare delivery in the area.

NHIS owes facilities up to GH₵ 19,387,891 and as at February 9, some health facilities have been reimbursed only up to May 2015.

Dr Winfred Ofosu, Acting Regional Director of Ghana Health Service, said the impact is gradually becoming unbearable for the health facilities and prompt action is needed to redress the situation.

The Acting Regional Director said this at the 2015 Annual Regional Health Sector Performance Review Conference held in Wa on the theme: “The status of emergency care services in the Upper West Region: Successes, challenges and the way forward”.

Dr Ofosu said the Region recorded 95 per cent clients with NHIS cards and as such any delay in reimbursement makes it difficult for health facilities to procure the needed medicine and non-medicine consumables for quality care.

On access to health care, he said functional Community Based Health and Planning Service (CHPS) zones increased from 148 in 2014, to 202 in 2015.

The CHPS compounds construction also increased from 164 in 2014 to 194 in 2015, with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) supporting 64 of such compounds.

Dr Ofosu said the population covered by functional CHPS increased from 42 per cent in 2014 to 51 per cent in 2015, and that it intended to increase it to 100 per cent by 2016.

The doctor population ratio improved from one doctor per 22,940 population to one doctor per 20,300 people while that of the midwife-women in fertile age ratio also improved from one midwife per 1,608 women in 2014 to one midwife per 845 women in 2015.

Talking about maternal and child health, the Acting Regional Director said family planning coverage was increased to 53.1 per cent representing 98,341 registrants in 2015 as against 50.9 per cent representing 91,791 registrants in 2014.

There was a marginal decline in skilled deliveries from 64 per cent (19,205 deliveries) in 2014 to 62 percent (19,123 deliveries) in 2015.

Dr Ofosu said the sector also recorded a marginal decline in antenatal coverage from 85.2 per cent (25,577) in 2014 to 83 percent (25,660) in 2015.

He said the sector again documented a total of 30 institutional maternal deaths giving a maternal mortality ratio of 155.8 per 100,000 live births in 2015 as against 31 deaths and a maternal mortality ratio of 161.1 per 100,000 live births in 2014.

Dr Ofosu said one of the most cost effective interventions for reducing child mortality has been immunization service but that had for the past years stagnated between 80 percent and 90 percent.

He said malnutrition among children less than five years remains a cause of mortality in the region.

Source: GNA

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