Technical Committee to restructure NHIS constituted – President Mahama

NHISPresident John Dramani Mahama on Thursday said he had constituted a technical committee to make proposals that would contribute to a fundamental redesigning of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to address Health Sector financing.

He said financing of the health sector remained a challenge, hence the decision to redesign the NHIS to meet the challenges.

Delivering his fourth State of the Nation Address in Parliament, President Mahama said despite the NHIS’ financial challenges, the scheme had witnessed a major boost in terms of subscription.

“2015 saw an active NHIS membership of 11.2 million people and that is 41per cent of our population. Out-Patient utilisation of the NHIS rose to 29.6 million in 2014, from 597,000 in 2005.

“For us this undeniable pattern of increased utilisation of healthcare insurance bears ample testimony to the confidence that our people continue to have both in the scheme and in the health system,” said.

President Mahama said Ghana’s life expectancy which was 40 years at independence, had now increased by 14 years due to huge advancements in medicine and healthcare delivery.

He said the success had been achieved largely due to the country’s successes in medicine.

“Our life expectancy was a little over 40 years at independence. Today, life expectancy has increased by more than 14 years. This increase is due to advances in medicine, improvements in health infrastructure and the improved number of health personnel.

“Not only are we living longer in our adult years, more infants are living to see those years. According to the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey, there has been a drastic reduction in the rate of infant mortality and under-five mortality.

“Over the last decade, under-five mortality decreased from 111 to 60 per thousand live births. Infant mortality dropped by almost 305 from 64 to 41 per thousand live births. The mothers of these children are also surviving during pregnancy and child birth because antenatal and post-natal care has improved,” President Mahama said.

President Mahama said Government was set to invest heavily in education and preventive healthcare for the treatment of chronic and non-communicable diseases due to lifestyle choices in the coming years.

“The investment in preventive health is even more prudent as our nutritional habits continue to change,” he said.

Source: GNA

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