Health Minister, Sherry Ayittey has told stakeholders in the health sector that the success of the National Health Insurance Scheme [NHIS] is a collective responsibility.
She partly credited progress made so far by the NHIA to stakeholders, stating that “it was done by the collective contribution of you stakeholders.”
The Minister made the comment when she addressed the 2014 NHIS Stakeholders’ Meeting last week.
The Forum created four years ago as part of measures to improve transparency and accountability in the running of the NHIS, and for building the partnerships necessary for its successful implementation, was under the theme, “Sustaining the NHIS – our collective responsibility”
Madam Ayittey opined that though Ghana is yet to achieve Universal Health Coverage, the impact of the NHIS cannot be overlooked.
“In 10 years of NHIS implementation, we have almost eliminated catastrophic expenditure on health, we have strengthened healthcare institutions since many facilities no longer have to wait for government subvention to run and we have improved the health seeking behaviour of Ghanaians. These were not unilaterally achieved by government. It was done by the collective contribution of you stakeholders.” Madam Ayittey observed.
The Minister also assured health service providers under the NHIS that she was working hard to clear all claims arrears. “I am aware of the delays and I am working together with my colleague, Finance Minister on this. I am also not unaware of the cost escalation of medical consumables and medicines,” she comforted.
Chief Executive of the NHIA, Sylvester A. Mensah called for stakeholder support for the operations of the Scheme in 2014.
According to him, “as we gallop into the year 2014, we call for the cooperation of our cherished stakeholders to stem the growing trend of illegal co-payments demanded of NHIS members who seek care at healthcare facilities. Such co-payments undermine subscriber confidence in the scheme and undermine the whole purpose of health insurance.”
He further entreated the stakeholders to be mindful of the strategic importance of the NHIS in national development and the growth of the health sector.
“We all have a duty to sustain the NHIS which metaphorically may be referred to as the goose that lays the golden eggs. Harming this goose will have consequences for all beneficiaries of health insurance in the country.
Mr Mensah concluded that, “with unity of purpose we can sustain the NHIS as a proud national heritage and a healthcare safety-net for the poor and vulnerable.”