NHIS pays GH 1.7 bn for health service providers in 2014

Subscribers in waiting to be registered at the Osu-Klottey NHIS office.The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has paid more than GH¢ 1.7 billion as claims to health providers for services to subscribers in 2014.

The figure is seven times the GH¢ 183million paid as claims in 2008.

Similarly, the number of members who used the NHIS cards at health facilities between 2014 and 2015 stood at 29 and 30 million, far more than the 1.3 million  and 8.6 million recorded in 2005 and 2010 respectively.

Mr. Nathaniel Otoo, Chief Executive of the scheme, who disclosed these during a tour of NHIS facilities in Accra yesterday, said 150,000 and 180,000 people were registered on weekly basis with an average daily enrolment of 30,000.

Besides, he said the scheme had improved the issuance of NHIS cards with the introduction of the biometric system.

Mr. Otoo said in 2005 and 2008, the average wait time for subscribers to receive  NHIS cards after registration was between three and six months.

Describing the scheme as a well managed one contrary to the suggestions by some members of the public that the scheme had collapsed, Mr. Otoo said the very opposite is true.

“If you have a collapsed scheme, will people keep using the services?” he asked adding that the evidence is there for everybody to look at and draw their own conclusions.

He said although, the scheme had its challenges, it is one of the well managed schemes and hoped that it would even be better in future.

So far, he said there were about 4,000 health service providers nationwide, with the number increasing every year.

Government, he said was spending huge resources in printing new cards to replace lost ones, adding that the scheme had gone beyond the 2016 estimated projection of 4.6 million cards with about 6.4 million cards issued at the end of August.

To remedy the situation, Mr. Otoo said the scheme was considering a multinational registration where members would have to make a choice of a two or three-year renewal of their cards.

Currently he said the NHIS provides about 25 per cent health funding to the health sector and that about 80 per cent of incomes of most health facilities came from the scheme.

Mr. Otoo appealed to Ghanaians to desist from running down the scheme as the benefit to the subscribers far outweighed their contributions.

Meanwhile a few members The Ghanaians Times interviewed at Osu-Klottey and Ayawaso offices of the NHIS expressed satisfaction at the services they received whenever they used the NHIS cards at health facilities.

Mr. Augustine Gyamfi, a 39-year-old mason told The Ghanaian Times that he had used the NHIS card for almost a decade without any challenge.

At the Ayawaso Office, Hajia Fatimatu Abubakar told The Ghanaian Times that the NHIS was the best social intervention programme she had used.

“I am a diabetic patient, and I never paid a pesewa any time I visit Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. I am given medicine for free at no cost,” she said

Tsetse Richard, spare parts dealer at Abosey Okai who went there to register for the first time remarked: “People alleged that the scheme is collapsed but I discovered that to be false when my wife was admitted at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. In fact, with the NHIS card, the hospital took care of her for two weeks and I am convinced that the scheme is working,” he said.

By Malik Sullemana    



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