NHIS should revise its operational strategy - international health NGO advises

Source: Ghana| Myjoyonline | Abubakar Ibrahim
Date: 5th-september-2017 Time:  8:40:35 pm

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An International Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) says the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) must redirect its focus to preventive care to reduce cost.

The Country Director of Millennium Promise, Chief Nathaniel Ebo Nsarko says it is expensive and unsustainable for a health system to wait for people to fall sick before administering care.

Ghana's National Health Insurance Scheme is currently over-burdened due to what experts describe as a misplaced priority of emphasizing curative healthcare.

Millennium Promise seeks to accelerate the eradication of extreme poverty, hunger, and preventable diseases. 

The Millennium Promise and its partners target to reduce diseases and attendant financial burden on the Scheme.

It has teamed up with the NHIA and the Ghana Youth Employment Agency to recruit 20,000 health agents for a pilot door-to-door health education.

Their aim is to reduce outpatients or OPD attendance in the Asokore Mampong Municipality of the Ashanti region.

The National Health Insurance Scheme was set up to provide equitable access and financial coverage for basic health care services for Ghanaians.

It has, however, been fraught with huge claims and challenges.   

Some people registering for the NHIS

Speaking about ways to curb the challenges, Chief Nsarko said, “The misplaced priorities are the challenges in the health system…if we are to wait for a damage control, where care is given after citizens have fallen sick, it is very expensive then.

“The most important thing to do prevention than wait to cure people,” he added.

He believes this will enable the country to increase the income of the Scheme and reduce the workload of the work required.

Dr Alexis Numgbefuba who is the Ashanti regional director of health explained to Joy News’ Erastus Asare Donkor that the initiative known as ‘One Million Communities Workers Ghana Project’, is challenged with getting volunteers to work in the sector. 

The project seeks to employ locals in rural communities nationwide to promote preventive and curative services in remote areas. 

He said their chief strategy depended on volunteers but such people only agree to work for the health directorate after they have gotten food on their tables.

Dr Numgbefuba added that because they are unable to grant this, it has jeopardised reliance on volunteers.  


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