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NHIS does not owe service providers arrears for a year – CEO

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Dr Lydia Selby-Djane

Dr Lydia Selby-Djane, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), says the Authority’s Scheme does not owe service providers up to a year of arrears for services rendered to members on the scheme.

The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), established by the Government of Ghana in 2003, provides equitable access and financial coverage for basic health care services to Ghanaian citizens.

She said the Scheme for now owed service providers including private health facilities from September 2021 to December 2021, summing up to more than GH¢360 million.

Dr Selby-Djane said: “I will therefore be surprised if a service provider says we owe them up to a year or from 2017 arrears or that their processes and payments have unduly delayed.

“So if they have facts to defend their case, they should pass through our right channels and email addresses, and we will investigate and address that,” she added.

She disclosed the current status of the NHIS claims payment in an engagement with the media in Accra, after media reports indicated that the Authority was turned away by Parliament, when they appeared to account and make claims for the next payment and that the Private Health Facilities Association of Ghana, threatened to withdraw its services partially to NHIS members if long-standing arrears were not settled.

Speaking on the packages of the NHIS, the CEO said it had added family planning and child cancers to the areas covered, explaining that childhood cancers were 90 per cent curable unlike adult ones bringing the total cure rate for cancers in Ghana at 35 per cent.

Dr Selby-Djane, on linking the National Identification Card (Ghana Card) to the NHIS Card, said universal health coverage was about leaving no one behind, therefore, the more the health system and NHIS had data on those enrolled, the more they could design strategies to bring healthcare to the doorstep of everyone.

She cautioned men to desist from the attitude of ‘not being interested in going to the hospital,’ to enhance their life span.

“You wait until the situation is critical and we all wear black and go and sit somewhere and say gone too soon. Once we link your NHIS to the Ghana Card, we know who you are. Our data has shown that men of between 30 and 60 years old refuse to return to the hospital, once they are diagnosed of high blood pressure and sugar levels.

“Somehow the women when they are told come back for medication. That is why women have a long life expectancy, because they are more responsible.

“Hernia is part of the surgeries covered under the NHIS. So, our men, you have hernias, and you walk around with it until you cannot walk again. Right from the beginning, just get it done and be free,” she advised.

Dr Selby-Djane cautioned that non-communicable diseases had no signs or symptoms until it got too late, adding: “They are very silent killers, so let’s be health conscious, because we are tired of the gone too soon notices we’ve been seeing every time.”

Source: GNA

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