…In September this year
The Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Mr. Sylvester Mensah has observed that some prescribers have failed to adhere to guidelines for prescribing and dispensing medicines as laid down by the Ministry of Health.
“This implies that people are prescribing and dispensing medications without the requisite knowledge and competency,” he stressed.
He said the nefarious activities of such prescribers have serious implications for the sustainability of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and quality of care of subscribers.
In a speech read on his behalf by a Pharmacist of NHIA, Mrs. Constance Addo-Quaye during the Annual General Meeting of Pharmacists and a Pharmaceutical Fair held on Friday, April 23, the Ag. Chief Executive noted that NHIA has proposed a uniform NHIS prescription form that would come into effect in September, 2010. According to him all NHIS prescriptions would be written on that approved prescription form and in approved formats as directed.
“We hope this measure will improve quality of care since patients will no more be compelled to fill their prescriptions at the facilities where they are seen, they can choose to fill them at community pharmacies at their own convenience,” he emphasized.
Throwing more light on the uniform prescription form, Mr. Mensah said the NHIA would be enforcing levels of prescribing the medicines on its Medicines List, as stipulated in the Essential Medicines List (EML) of the MOH.
“Beyond these directives however, it is important for us as stakeholders in the pursuit of quality healthcare for all, to work together and ensure that these new measures translate into the desirable impact that we all want affordable quality healthcare,” he advised.
The NHIA Chief Executive entreated all Pharmacists to ensure that all prescriptions were written on the approved prescription form and in the right format adding that it will be important to ensure that the medicines on the prescription form could be prescribed at that level of healthcare bearing in mind the prescribing levels for each medicine on the list.
He stated that routine clinical audits have revealed cases of inflation of prices of medicines, and billing the schemes for medications not on the NHIS medicines list and medicines not prescribed.
He indicated that the cost of claims continues to escalate in terms of the cost of medicines, adding that recent analysis of claims data indicated that medicines account for 53% of all NHIS claims.
“All these scenarios are capable of collapsing the National Health Insurance Scheme,” he warned.
He concluded that to make the NHIS an enviable one in the sub region, pharmacists need to work together with the NHIA as stakeholders.
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