NPP Urged To Pay Much Attention To NHIS Implementation

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The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has been urged to put in the necessary mechanisms to resuscitate the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) which has been malfunctioning for about half a decade now. A Coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the Upper East Region, which made the call as part of this year’s third World Universal Health Coverage Day celebration indicated that an effective and efficient health insurance scheme would be more viable and make health care accessible and appealing to subscribers. The occasion is organized annually and globally to drum home the need for Governments to help improve upon Universal Access to Health Care particularly marginalized groups in society. The CSOs including the Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights (ARHR), ISODEC, SEND Ghana, the Coalition of NGOs in Health, and Mission of Hope which have shouldered the responsibility to champion Universal Access to Health Care Campaigns, made the call in a communiqué issued to the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council in Bolgatanga and copied to the press on Monday. According to the CSOs, the NHIS is panacea to Universal Health Care in Ghana and when resuscitated through adequate resourcing could help Ghana attain Universal Access to Health Care in earnest and urged the government to put in place pragmatic measures to make the NHIS more efficient and attractive. The communiqué which was read by the Regional Campaign Coordinator, Mr Abagmbire Adua, further suggested to the government to implement a progressive and equitable tax reform to financially sustain the Scheme as well as identify other creative ways of generating funds to support the Scheme to effectively operate. Whilst expressing concerns in the delay by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to release funds for the payment of NHIS providers, it called on the Ministry of Health to liaise with the Ministry of Finance to work towards ensuring timely and early release of funds to the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) for its smooth operations. The Communiqué further stressed the need for the government particularly the Ministry of Health to ensure equitable distribution of health professionals, especially doctors across all districts and regions in the country as well as improve upon the working conditions of health professionals, particularly those posted to rural communities. It urged NHIA to strengthen its monitoring and evaluation systems to flash out any health facility charging illegal fees or providing poor healthcare services to NHIS subscribers and also liaise with the Ministry of Transport to substantially invest in the regional and district transportation and power sectors to increase access to primary healthcare through growth. The occasion which was preceded by route match throughout the Municipal streets of Bolgatanga had the celebrants wielding placards some of which read; “National Health Insurance is panacea to Universal Health Care in Ghana”, “Ministry of Finance release funds for early payment of NHIS claims”, “Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service provide equitable health personnel and resources to all the districts and the regions across the country”, “Universal Health Coverage is the key to the improvement of maternal and infant care”, among others. The Chief Director at the Regional Coordinating Council, Alhaji Abdulai Abubkar, who received the communiqué on behalf of the government pledged to forward it to the appropriate quarters for redress.