Committee on NHIS presents report to Health Ministry

By Christabel Addo, GNA

Accra, Sept. 17,
GNA – The Independent Technical Committee that was tasked to review the
National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), on Friday, presented its report to the
Ministry of Health in Accra.

The reviewed
document which was received by Mr Alex Segbefia, the Minister of Health,
contains key recommendations by the Committee based upon their extensive review
of the NHIS.

The seven-member
Committee which was inaugurated by President John Dramani Mahama last year, was
to work within the context of the Scheme’s, sustainability, accountability,
transparency and user satisfaction.

Dr Chris Atim, the
Chairman of the Independent Technical Review Committee, said after a critical
review and in consultation with key stakeholders, come out with three major
recommendations, which among other things, calls for the redesigning and
restructuring of the Scheme with a focus on the country’s primary health care
system.

He said the country
is now paying dearly for the non-performances in her primary health care system
as it failed to factor in preventive health care from the onset which, was the
resultant of the currently high record of preventable illnesses.

He said the
Committee recommended that maternal and child health be given high priority
under the NHIS, as what pertains currently could be described as a scandal for
the country, especially with respect to the high mortality and morbidity rate
among these group.

He also said there
must be a critical focus on ensuring efficiency, through good governance and
ensuring that the voice of users were considered.

Dr Atim said in
view of this the Committee recommended for the institution of a Patient
Protection Council, as a coordinating body under the Ministry of Health, to
represent patients and also coordinate set priorities, ensure transparency and
accountability.

Mr Segbefia,
expressed gratitude to the members of the Committee for availing themselves to
the service of their country and also for working hard towards their mandate to
address NHIS’s current challenges so that it would be able to confront the
future with confidence.

He said government
is committed to the success of the NHIS, adding that far from negative
perceptions that the Scheme is dying, it has rather been growing year-on-year
with an impressive results, and has become even more popular in the
international scene.

“However, like any
endeavour of life, growth comes with challenges. The NHIS has had its
challenges in the 13 years of its existence,” he said.

The Minister
acknowledged that while most of the challenges have been designed problems,
others have been operational, and assured the Committee that he would forward
the reviewed document to the President for onward action.

GNA

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