General News of Wednesday, 22 February 2017
President Akufo-Addo says the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), is in a bad state, promising that his government will work to restore it. In spite of his assertion, he said the scheme remains one of the country’s major interventions to improving access to healthcare.
“We have to be healthy if we are to make a success of the plans and aspirations we have. The National Health Insurance Scheme remains the best option we have devised to ensure that as many people as possible have access to health care in our clinics and hospitals.
The scheme is not in a good state, and there are too many providers that are owed money. They are threatening to opt out and stop offering their services to the most vulnerable in our society,” Akufo-Addo said. Delivering his maiden State of the Nation Address before Parliament on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, Akufo-Addo said the government will work to restore the scheme to a vibrant state. “We shall restore the National Health Insurance Scheme to good health,” Akufo-Addo said while announcing his plans for the health sector.
His government, while in opposition, heavily criticized the John Mahama-led government of collapsing the health insurance scheme which was introduced by the New Patriotic Party’s John Agyekum Kufuor as one of his major social interventions. While the incumbent government accused the erstwhile John Mahama administration of collapsing the scheme, the National Democratic Congress insisted that they expanded the scheme to accommodate more health institutions and increased the number of subscribers.
Ex-president, John Mahama in his last State of the Nation Address said his government had increased the number of subscribers from 10 million in 2009 to 11.2 million. But the new President, Nana Akufo-Addo, who appears more concerned about the effectiveness of the scheme, has given assurances of his government’s commitment to improve it.
Meanwhile, Nana Akufo-Addo has reiterated government’s commitment to restore trainee nurses allowance, which was scrapped under the Mahama-led administration. The plan to restore the allowance is one of the major promises Akufo-Addo made while on the campaign trail ahead of the 2016 presidential elections.