The Ashanti Regional caucus of the New Patriotic Party in Parliament, on Wednesday called for the immediate suspension of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) capitation policy, being implemented in the Region, for “a better thought policy" and programme to be piloted.
The group made the request in a statement jointly signed by Mrs Elizabeth Agyemang, chairman of the caucus and Nana Abu-Bonra, secretary to the group, copied to Ghana News Agency in Accra.
The statement said for the capitation to be successfully implemented, there was the need for government, service providers and clients in Ashanti region to collaborate efforts.
It said in the Ashanti region, the service providers have stated their unwillingness to participate in the capitation, for lack of education, low capitation rate and general poor health situation that will ensue as a result of this policy.
The statement said the clients have not been sufficiently educated on the policy and their permission was not sought and added that “the people of Ashanti Region woke up to find that their National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards had become unacceptable when they visited the clinics, hospitals or maternity homes.
" The NHIA itself with this shoddy implementation seem not to have thought through the implementation of this policy carefully. We are aware that this policy has not been fully debated and accepted by the government.”
The statement said for the policy to be successful, the service providers must at least be compensated equally as under the Fee for Service and not to lose out.
It said “Any loss of fees as a result of capitation implementation will lead to poor service delivery to the clients and added that “ it is clear that the NHIA had not done its homework well.
The caucus, therefore, called on the NHIA to as a matter of urgency to undertake adequate public education to enable all residents in the Ashanti region to register with service provider.
It called for appropriation of capitation rate for all clients on service providers list and agreement on the basket of benefits to be included and excluded on the capitation rate,
The statement also asked NHIA to operate the capitation on pilot basis alongside Fee for Service for a thorough comparative assessment and called for a national roll-out programme for the capitation policy.
It noted that the Ghana Medical Association had called for the suspension of the capitation policy and a more vigorous public education embarked upon and the Society of the Ghana Medical and Dental Practitioners had disassociated itself from the policy.
The statement said the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana had initiated court action against the implementation of the policy in the region.
It said: “We are aware that clients only woke up to find out that for no apparent reason, their NHIS card was not accepted by service providers both public and private in the Ashanti Region.”
“Certainly, patients have a right to choose which doctor they wanted to visit. Not enough time has been given clients to register with the service provider and also for most clients their primary health care providers are also the referral centres.”
The statement said public hospitals have not been given enough time to enroll clients to qualify for the capitation system.
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