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Medical Practitioners In Ashanti Region Withdraw Services
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Members of the Society of Private Medical and Dental Practitioners (SPMDP) and Ghana Registered Midwives Association (GRMA) in Ashanti Region, have resolved to indefinitely suspend their services to National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) subscribers, effective February 1.

The decision was taken after the two groups met in Kumasi to deliberate extensively on issues concerning the capitation pilot underway in the region by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).

A release jointly signed by Dr Emmanuel Harry Tawiah, Chairman of SPMDP, Dr K. Antwi Secretary of SPMDP and Mrs Agatha Boahene National Vice President of GRMA and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the capitation was imposed on the region by NHIA to the detriment of quality care and the threat to collapse health facilities in the area.

The release expressed concern about the refusal of the NHIA to suspend the capitation pilot despite the several appeals from stakeholders including mission, public, private health facilities and subscribers, hence, “We suspend our services to NHIS subscribers indefinitely”.

The document was copied to the Minister of Health, Office of the Asantehene, Regional Minister, Regional Director of Health Services and the Regional NHIA Manager.

NHIS Capitation was introduced by the NHIA as an additional payment mechanism to improve the provider payment system in the NHIS.

The objective of the capitation would address the imbalance and introduce risk-sharing among providers, subscribers, create a healthcare marketplace where subscribers choose their providers and generate provider competition in terms of improving infrastructure, equipment, the relationship between medical personnel and patients in their care, and overall quality of care.

Geographically, the region is centrally located and diverse; it has a mix of rural and urban communities with appropriate blend of health facilities - small health centres as well as big hospitals and is quite representative of the country. Therefore a successful pilot would augur well for a country-wide roll-out.

However, stakeholders in the region have kicked against the programme saying it would collapse the health system because of the decrease of service charge from GH₵ 12.00 to GH₵ 1.75.00.
Source: GNA

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