‘Ghanaians losing confidence in NHIA’

Dr. Samuel Annor, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), has revealed that there is a consistent drop in the confidence Ghanaians have in the health insurance scheme.

He said this was occasioned by the public perception that the NHIA was not functioning at the various health facilities across the country.

Dr. Annor, who appeared before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) in Accra last Friday, said the membership of the health policy had dropped from 11.3 million by December last year, to 11 million this year.

“Anytime the scheme faulted in paying service providers, people were turned away, so confidence in the scheme dropped so people were not interested in renewing their membership,” he noted.

Dr. Annor said measures were being instituted to whip up public confidence in the scheme, because it was clear the scheme could run into trouble.

Consequently, the NHIA boss said “we are currently engaging the government to change the model of 2.5 per cent VAT and the 2.5 SSNIT contribution”.

Dr. Annor said by the end of 2016, the scheme was indebted to service providers to the tune of US$ 1.2 billion dollars, of which “most” has been paid, adding that the scheme was currently meeting its financial obligations for this year.

Dr. Annor indicated that the authority was strengthening its monitoring and evaluation unit, to check service providers, who “attempt to defraud the scheme”.

He said some service providers charged more than the services they have rendered, for which the authority was working assiduously to tackle.

“The system is not as efficient as we would want it to be. We are endeavoring to change the system to such a way that it becomes very efficient in terms of moving to possible paperless claims,” Dr. Annor said.

He stressed: “In that way, the vetting is done electronically and it would be very easy to pick up people who are abusing the system, and there are measures we are also putting in place to make it difficult or to create a deterrent environment that service providers make sure they do things in accordance with the law.”

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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