General News of Monday, 17 July 2017
A former Deputy Communications Minister, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, has described the notion by Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government introduced the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) capitation grant in the Ashanti Region to jeopardize the health status of the people living there as inciting and unacceptable.
“It does not make sense to me one bit. Obviously, he will not be able to provide any logical reason for that comment,” Mr. Kwakye Ofosu reacted on TV3’s New Day hosted by Bright Nana Amfoh on Monday.
The Senior Minister during the Ashanti Regional New Patriotic Party (NPP) delegates’ conference in Kumasi on Sunday announced that the government has decided to abolish the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) capitation policy, which was piloted in the Region in 2012.
Capitation, which is one of the most effective and efficient healthcare provider payment systems, initially faced stiff opposition and challenges from healthcare providers in the Region.
After the piloting, real implementation began in the Ashanti Region and the extension of the programme to the Volta, Upper East and Upper West regions brought to four the number of regions implementing the new provider payment method.
Mr. Kwakye Ofosu said: “If you want to say the NDC wanted to collapse NHIS in the Ashanti Region, it is an unfortunate statement to make. It is inciting and unacceptable statement because capitation was to check fraud in the system”.
He added: “If the government feels there is a superior policy, they should introduce it and I want to let them know that there are no shot cuts to success in governance”.
The former Deputy Communications Minister noted that “[government] should either take bold decisions to make the scheme work or bow out because in the US, the NHIS [has been] in the system for about six decades but they still face challenges. So if there are issues in Ghana, it should not come as a surprise. We need to avoid the unnecessary embellishments”.
The Member of Parliament for Effutu Constituency in the Central Region, Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin, said “the capitation is good but if you want to do a piloting, why didn’t you do it in more regions or districts. Why do you move into a whole region?”
“People were suffering and there were legitimate concerns and questions about the piloting. Why didn’t you do it the Upper East? Why didn’t you do it in the Central or Greater Accra? You could have select districts in all the regions for the piloting”.
The MP said “if a new government has come and it intends reviewing it, I think it is a good thing because there are legitimate concerns”.