In light of the global interest in achieving universal health insurance coverage, this study seeks to examine the extent to which affordability of the NHIS contribution is a barrier to full insurance for households and a burden on their resources.
Access to health insurance is expected to have positive effect in improving access to healthcare and offer financial risk protection to households.
The Government of Ghana began the implementation of a National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in 2004 as a way to ensure equitable access to basic healthcare for all residents and to eliminate the canker of the 'Cash and Carry' system of health delivery [Under the cash and carry system, the health need of an individual was only attended to after initial payment for the service was made]
After a decade of its implementation, national coverage is just about 34% of the national population.
Affordability of the NHIS contribution is often cited by households as a major barrier to enrolment in the NHIS without any rigorous analysis of this claim.
In light of the global interest in achieving universal health insurance coverage, SilverFM had a brief dialogue with Professor, Doctor, Pathologist, Academier, Leader, Researcher, Social Commentator and a “Functional Engineer”, Agyeman Badu Akosa who shed more light on some challenges that beset the NHIS policy.
Speaking on SILVER SUPER DRIVE TODAY with veteran disc jockey LOVIN ‘CEE’ on Tuesday, Prof Akosa said given the current precarious financial situation of the Authority, to ensure a sound financial footing, it was important for Ghana to follow the best practice, which is ensuring a higher active membership percentage on the scheme coupled with prudent management of insurance premiums and funds.
''It is disheartening to hear today that the percentage of active members on the scheme is very low, though the law makes health insurance mandatory for all''.
''If the every resident of Ghana as required by law deems it important to belong to the health insurance scheme whiles the government also ensure generated tax revenues are used for funding the scheme, I think the NHIS will be functional enough and sustainable''.
Prof Akosa said although the NHIS was the best social intervention that Ghana had implemented, it was important to de-link politics from it and ensure that policies that to make its implementation very effective are rolled-out.
''Right from its implementation , laws that ensure that all residents of Ghana 18years and above ...... and even those below 18years are enrolled onto the Scheme without premiums are effected''
According to Prof, it was true that the Scheme was fraught with numerous challenges,but also noted that having the cash and carry system at our government hospitals is unacceptable.
''Cash and Carry system creates a lot of malpractice in the system and should not be accepted in our government hospitals''
''This will ensure that active members on NHIS Scheme can access health care in our government hospitals whereas non-card bearing members will be referred to the private hospitals....This would have encouraged a lot of Ghanaian residents to enroll onto the scheme years of implementing an insurance scheme''
''The Cash and Carry System should be abolished in all government hospitals''he stressed.
Mark F. / silveronline24Last modified on Wednesday, 23 October 2019