The Universal Access to Healthcare Campaign (UAHCC) has welcomed the decision of President John Dramani Mahama, to allocate a portion of the oil revenue to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
President Mahama proposed that a percentage of the annual budget funding amount that came from petroleum revenues should be allocated to the NHIS, saying there was the need to rework the sustainability of the Scheme, hence the essence to look for new sources of funding.
Mr Archibald Adams, the National Campaign Coordinator of UAHCC, in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said the additional source of funding would give the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) more resources to expand its operations and reduce the issues of delay in payment of claims.
Mr Adams said one of the key recommendations of the Technical Review of the NHIS was the identification of other sources of funding.
The Campaign wished the President Mahama’s announcement could have come earlier, especially as the NHIA had not paid claims to a number of health facilities ranging from seven to 12 months.
“Most of our health facilities nationwide have threatened to stop attending to NHIS card holders because of the persistent delay in payment of claims and we want to urge the Ministry of Finance to as a matter of urgency, release funds for the NHIA to pay its service providers.”
He said the release of the funds was done quarterly but for the whole of 2016, nothing has been transferred to the NHIA, and that the Campaign believed that, a lot has been achieved with the scheme and the country cannot go back on the gains.
The Campaign commended the NHIA for the introduction of the multi-year registration for scheme members, including the introduction of the paperless registration, the Provider Unique Identification, electronic identification of the poor and vulnerable persons for enrolment onto the scheme, the expansion of Clinical Audit capacity.
Mr Adams retreated that, the NHIS had a fundamental challenge which was the delay in release of funds from the Ministry of Finance to the NHIA to enable the Authority effectively and efficiently run the Scheme.
He said more than 41 per cent of the population were currently active users of the NHIS and a lot of people were registering unto the scheme daily.
“This should give cause for all stakeholders to support and ensure that, the Scheme is effectively managed to provide healthcare for all Ghanaians especially the vulnerable, poor, aged, women and children.” he added. GNA