Mr. Kweku Agyemang Manu, Minister for Health has asked staff in the health service to help make the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) more effective, and save it from collapsing.
He noted with concern that the scheme was not working as it should, with issues of co-payments, but assured that the Ministry was “making efforts to make it work”.
“Let’s all prioritise health insurance. It must be made efficient by now, but retrogression is affecting its efficiency and stakeholders must do something about it”, Mr Agyemang Manu stated, when he engaged management and staff of the Peki Government Hospital during a working tour of the Volta Region.
The Minister said co-payments, unusual fees charged for laboratory and some other bad attitudes discouraged people on treatment for HIV, diabetes, and other chronic diseases from regularly seeking care.
“When you charge people bearing health insurance cards, you are sabotaging efforts at health insurance penetration. Let’s sit up and support Government efforts at tackling healthcare delivery”, he earlier stated when he met staff of the Hohoe Municipal Hospital.
Mr. Agyemang Manu also mentioned the referral of patients to private facilities, as well as the creation of artificial shortages of drugs covered by the scheme for profit, and said such practices denied the State of revenue.
He said NHIS was a major intervention at attaining universal health coverage, hence the commitment of government to “drastically” reduce arrears the service owed health facilities.
“The situation now is far better than what we came to meet”, he said, adding that government, despite the huge challenges it inherited, managed to subsidise health training, and other interventions including housing schemes for medical students.
Mr. Agyemang Manu and his entourage, heads of some departments and agencies under the Ministry, stakeholders, heads of Assemblies, and partners in healthcare delivery, toured some health facilities and training institutions under the Ministry.