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Infrastructural Dev‘t Not Cause Of NHIS Crisis
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The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is in dire need of funds to keep the system afloat but contrary to assertions by many social commentators  that the infrastructural projects such as office accommodation  underken by the Authority may be the cause of its dwindling fortunes, figures stumbled upon by The New Crusading GUIDE suggest that assertion is unfounded.

According to the documents, the scheme has been running on a deficit since 2009 and unless stakeholders take a drastic step towards its financing, the scheme would collapse in the near future.

The scheme which officially came into being in 2005, had about 597,000 subscribers and managers used a negligible 0.01 percent of its income to acquire assets such as office accomodation and vehicles. In 2014, managers of the scheme spent a paltry 1.08 percent of its total income on its assets. The year which saw the scheme spend so much on its assets was in 2010 which was pegged at 1.65 percent of its total income.

The National Health Insurance Authority now has a state of the art headquarters in Accra, ten Regional offices and over 160 offices across the country though some of them are either rented belongs to the District Assemblies.

The scheme which paid claims of about Ghc7.60 million in 2005, has seen the claims ballon to as high as Ghc183 million in 2008. There are projections that the Ghc997million theschem paid last year as claims would jump to about Ghc1.2billion this year as patient who utilize the scheme has reached a staggering figure of close to 30 million people.

It is clear the scheme is facing funding challenges and to salvage thesituation, many health insurance players have proposed an increase in the insurance levy as well as levying tobacco and alcoholic beverages to support it.

Others also propose that 5 percent of the Road Fund as well as 20percent of the Communications Service Tax be dedicated to the NHIS.

The challenges of the scheme reached its peak a couple of weeks ago when a joint statement issued by the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), the Society of Private Medical and Dental Practitioners (SPMDP), and the Ghana Registered Midwives Association (GRMA) said: “Due to over seven months indebtedness of the NHIA to all healthcare providers, health institutions are unable to maintain the basic quality of care required of them. “Health institutions lack the necessary medical and surgical supplies because Pharmaceutical companies have refused to supply medicines and other consumables on credit. The leaderships of the GHS, CHAG, SPMDP and GRMA feel embarrassed by this development.”

The Health Ministry intervened and the group rescinded its decision which rekindled the public discourse on the funding and sustainability of the scheme.
Source: The New Crusading Guide

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