The Volta Regional Director of National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Joseph Homenya has described as worrying challenges bedeviling the Scheme in the region and called for the need to address these challenges for its successful implementation.
Mr. Homenya said National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card holders continue to pay unlawful charges when they attend hospitals.
He decried the situation where pregnant women are charged various sums of monies depending on consumables used despite government’s policy on free maternal care covered under the NHIS.
The Regional Director made the complaint during the 2018 NHIA mid-year review meeting on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 in Ho.
He expressed worry at the situation which he said was affecting public’s confidence in the Scheme established by an Act of Parliament in 2003 (Act 650) to secure financial risk protection against the cost of healthcare services for all in Ghana.
To him, “it is difficult to get a refund to clients for wrongful billing, and the reason often is that the software being used by the hospital makes it irreversible.”
Mr. Homenya said this issue coupled with frequent breakdown of registration equipment, intermittent shortage of registration consumables, and network/application downtimes are contributing to the low enrolment and premium mobilization in the region.
He mentioned that out of the annual target of 994,210 membership registration set for the 2018 year, the Scheme recorded an active membership enrollment of just 395,062 (representing 39.73 per cent) by the end of June and managed a premium mobilization of Gh₵1,729,705.90 (representing 36.32 per cent) of an annual target of Gh₵4,761,413.
He therefore warned service providers against wrongful billing saying, the Authority has been granted prosecutorial powers to deal with any person or group of persons who will attempt to defraud the Scheme.
Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa assured of government’s commitment to revive the Scheme to benefit the citizenry.
He said government is abreast with challenges facing the Scheme and has begun implementing policies to fix them.
The meeting which attracted district managers, accountants and district directors of health among others across all the 16 NHIS districts in the region also saw the presentation of awards to best performing districts in the region.
By: Collins Anku/voltaonlinegh.com