The leadership of the Medical Superintendents group in Ghana paid a courtesy call on the NHIA Chief Executive, Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye today 15th June 2022 at the head office in Accra.
This is the biggest group that manages most public healthcare facilities in Ghana on a day-to-day basis and are a group under the Ghana Health Service.
In his opening remarks Dr. K. K. Hussein from Manhyia Hospital who led the group expressed their appreciation to have one of their own heading the NHIA now.
He was of the conviction that issues challenging their work were not new to the NHIA boss, who prior to his appointment had been working in Lekma Hospital as a physician and called on him to resolve the challenges that he went on to enumerate.
Dr. Dodoo from the Kyebi Government Hospital also took his turn to announce how they abhorred co-payment (unauthorized charges) to NHIS members but were compelled to do so for the survival of their facilities. Delays in reimbursing claims and low NHIS medicine tariffs were primarily attributed to the rampant co-payment phenomenon.
Dr. Okoe Boye thanked the group for the visit and empathized with the conditions they were operating in. He re-assured them that the NHIS tariffs had been reviewed and adjusted upwards by some 30% and will be operational in July 2022. He further promised that the tariff review will be done more regularly going forward to ensure that the NHIA is always abreast with inflation and cost trends in the market.
The NHIA CEO was hopeful that with the introduction of more realistic tariffs for the medicines, the group will ensure the reduction of co-payment at facilities to uplift public confidence in the Scheme.
He called on the Medical Superintendents as key stakeholders of the NHIS, to add their voices to the advocacy for improved funding into the Scheme and promised to facilitate a gathering of all relevant persons in the financial architecture of the Scheme to deliberate on how best to reform the funding and sustainability issues that confronts the Scheme and its partners. It is instructive to note that the NHIA premiums that are paid by the informal sector has remained the same for years, he said.
The ACT 852 enjoins the Scheme to charge between GHC7.60 and GHC48 as premium, however the NHIA has hovered around GHC23 as premium paid annually per member which could potentially threaten the survival of the Scheme.
Contributing to the discussions were Mr Ben Kusi, Director of Membership & Regional Operations, Mr. Oswald Essuah-Mensah, Head of Corporate Affairs and Mr. Daniel Blankson, Head of Management Information Systems at the NHIA.