NHIS Find additional resources for NHIS now - Chief Justice to gov't

The scheme over the years has been hit with a lot of challenges with health service providers threatening on several occasions not to attend to subscribers because they have not been paid their claims.

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The Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, has added her voice to calls for the government to find additional sources of funding to support the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).

According to her, the move would make the NHIA financially sufficient to enable it pay all outstanding debts owed health facilities.

“I wish to add my voice to appeals already made to the government to find additional resources in the short term to support the NHIA. These additional funds should immediately go to reimburse all those health facilities owed outstanding claims, despite timely submissions on their part,” she said.

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The Chief Justice made this known at the opening of the 13th Annual General and Scientific Meeting (AGSM) of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons in Accra.

The programme was on the theme: “Financing health care in Ghana: The future of the National Health Insurance Scheme”.

The AGSM also saw the admission and induction of 147 newly qualified members and 30 new fellows into the college.

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The Chief Justice further stressed on the need for a stronger private participation in the provision of health insurance for Ghanaians.

“The combined effects of the NHIS, the private commercial schemes and the private mutual schemes are what will ultimately enable the country’s quest for universal health coverage,” she added.

On his part, the Minister of Health, Mr Alex Segbefia, said the NHIS was still active and it is attracting a lot of participation from Ghanaians.

He said last year, out-patient utilisation of the NHIS rose to 29 million from 16.6 million in 2009.

Background of the NHIS

The scheme over the years has been hit with a lot of challenges with health service providers threatening on several occasions not to attend to subscribers because they have not been paid their claims.

READ ALSO: 'Tottering NHIS' will gather steam under NPP gov't - Kufuor

In some cases, service providers have threatened to return to the days where health care service will only be delivered after patients have paid for the services.

President John Dramani Mahama in September this year indicated that his government in the next four years will ensure that the National Health Insurance Scheme gets additional sources of income.

According to him, this is aimed at reworking the sustainability of the scheme.

“In the next four years, a percentage of annual funding amount that come from petroleum revenues should be assigned to the NHIS,”  he said.

President John Dramani Mahama made this known during his presentation of to a cross-section of Ghanaians, the highlights of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Manifesto for 2016.

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