Ms Ayittey with Mahama Ayariga, Information Minister (left)
Latest data shows that the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) paid GH¢748 million in claims to service providers in 2013, compared to GH¢362 million it paid in 2009.
Sherry Ayittey, outgoing Health Minister, who disclosed this at the Meet The Press encounter in Accra said payment of claims had improved over the years, ‘but there are still issue of delay in claims reimbursement.’
She assured all service providers that the Health Ministry is working in collaboration with Finance Ministry for the release of some monies to settle the claim arrears.
Ms Ayittey said the NHIA had begun a process to revise the rates it pays for services to reflect market realities, stating that ‘it is projected that by September 2014, the revised rates will be affected.’
She said healthcare utilisation of the Scheme rose from 16.6 million in 2009, to 27.4 million in 2013.
Ms Ayittey said even though the growing utilisation of the service under the Scheme stretches the financial status of the policy, ‘it is important for us as government to continue to provide social protection for our people, especially those who need it.’
‘So in the context of high utilisation and the danger this poses to the national purse, we must be bold enough to embrace reforms,’ he said.
Ms Ayittey disclosed that the NHIA under the Ministry’s oversight would be extending capitation to three more regions in the second phase of implementation.
The regions, she mentioned, were Upper East, Upper West and the Volta regions, adding that the exercise would take on another set of regions till the whole country is covered.
Ms Ayittey lauded Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Medical and Dental Council and the Pharmacy Council for their hardwork in improving service delivery to Ghanaians and called for all to make good use of the limited resources.
She said in spite of the Authority’s challenges, it had been able to successfully complete the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Regulatory System Assessment, designated as the Regional Centre of Excellence for medicine registration by NEPAD and had been accredited as ISO 17025 compliant by ACLASS of the USA, among many other achievements.
Ms Ayittey called on FDA to carry out training, monitoring and enforcement of good distribution practices (GDP) requirements for manufacturers, wholesalers and other distributors and user facilities.
By Cephas Larbi
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