Workers urged to support NHIS with additional contributions

Ghanaians have been urged to support the National Health Insurance Scheme toward its sustainability.

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr Samuel Annor, said the country could not afford to go back to the cash and carry system just because of funding challenges.

He, therefore, called on workers in the formal sector to sacrifice again by contributing one per cent of their salary making it three-and-half per cent to the scheme.

The NHIS which was introduced in 2003 is currently being financed by the 2.5 per cent of the Value Added Tax (VAT) and 2.5 per cent of the contributions from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

Dr Samuel Annor made the appeal when he addressed workers in Ho, the Volta Regional capital on how to improve the financial standing of the scheme.

He explained without mincing words that the current financing model to the scheme was no longer enough for quick payments of service providers and a review of the system could save the scheme from total collapse.

The CEO further noted that there was the need to change the rules and laws that turn to affect the scheme and this “we can do by making sure that those in the informal sector are roped in to support the sustenance of the scheme”.

He maintained that with the current scheme, a beneficiary averagely used $30 a year, which he said was inadequate to cater for one’s healthcare needs annually.

Dr Samuel Annor agreed with workers demanding a detailed financial statement of the scheme to know how much they had contributed and the ones in arrears before they commit further any money.

He expressed the need to find other innovative ways of funding the NHIS and called for their support, inputs and suggestions.

Dr Annor assured the workers that all the corrupt practices where individuals siphoned part of the funds were being addressed and all loopholes in the system were being blocked.

For their part, the workers were of the view that any attempt to deduct more monies from their salaries to fund the scheme would overburden them so the government should rather set its priorities right as to how to support the scheme.

Dr. Anthony Yaw Baah, Secretary-General of TUC, in his remarks expressed concern about the many challenges faced about the scheme especially with corrupt practices.

He said TUC would continue to educate members so that they could respond positively to the challenges confronting the scheme.

In a related development, Dr Samuel Annor, was conducted round the Volta Regional Hospital where he interacted with management and patients of the hospital.

He expressed the need to upgrade of the regional from secondary to tertiary level to facilitate students of University of Health and Allied Sciences do their practical work.

He also hinted that new tariff negotiations for health institutions were almost completed and that it would help uplift facilities in the hospital.

Dr John Tampouri, Medical Superintendent of the hospital commended the Authority for improvement in the payment to service providers and appealed for more logistical support towards improved healthcare for the people.

Dr Annor (inset) addressing the workers.

From Kafui Gati, Ho

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workers listening to the address.

 

 

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