NHIS must be sustained at all costs – CEO

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr Samuel Annor has called for a multifaceted approach in tackling the National Health Insurance Scheme’s debt portfolio of 1.2 billion cedis.

The NHIA CEO, who is currently on a nationwide tour, described the ailing National Health Insurance Scheme as a human security threat, hence the need to sustain it at all costs.

He was speaking at a meeting with labour unionists in the Northern Regional capital, Tamale

The meeting brought together members of the Public Sector Workers Union, Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) and the Civil And Local Government Staff Association of Ghana and among others.

Dr. Samuel Annor admitted that the National Health Insurance Scheme has seen its status dwindled significantly saying, “as an insurance scheme, apart from paying all your bills, you’re supposed to have a reserve for six months so that should any catastrophe happen you can absorb it. But now, we have a scheme that has got zero reserves and owes service providers 1.2 billion cedis.”

He, therefore, underscored the need for the leadership and members of the nation’s labour unions to help sustain the NHIS.

“It is imperative that Ghanaians and for that matter, the country’s labour unions own the NHIS, make their yearly contributions and demand that government fulfills its part of the contribution so that the scheme can be sustainable enough to take care of everyone’s health.”

“Now that we’re being told by the government in power that our health is important, let us not let this opportunity go by. Let us put the laws and rules that will take politics out of the NHIS,” he stressed.

Dr. Samuel Annor solicited the suggestions of the labour unions to assist government revamp the scheme.

“Let us own the scheme. We as workers, we as citizens of this country, let us own the NHIS. Anything that leads the insurance scheme to political influence or any influence or any capture by some group of people or anything that has to do with it, we must defend the scheme with our might, our strength and our sweat.”

Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr. Anthony Yaw Baah promised to solidify the collaboration between the NHIA and the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

He posited that, “While the NHIA wants the Ghanaian worker to pay more to ensure sustainability of the scheme, I propose that apart from having only one representative on the Board of the Authority, in each of the remaining sub-committees, there should also be a labour union representative to ensure judicious use of resources.”

Dr. Yaw Baah said Ghanaians should be willing to pay more for better health service.

“Norway for instance, which has the best health system in the world, taxes her citizens as much as 40% or more, and if Ghanaians also want to have a similar system, then they should be willing to pay more.”

With over 11 million subscribers, the National Health Insurance Scheme is heavily indebted to a tune of over 1.2 billion cedis.

 

Insurance with Kofi Owusu TAWIAH

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