The National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS is fully functional with many more people subscribing on daily basis.
The scheme, according to separate reports by independent institutions and acclaimed international organizations which have done various works in Ghana’s Health sector, continues to be attractive as a result of new policies introduced by the Mahama Administration and
This is contrary to claims by the opposition New Patriotic Party, NPP which has consistently accused government of incompetence in handling health sector problems resulting in the collapse of the NHIS.
The party for lack of campaign message because of the John Mahama administration’s massive investment in health infrastructure adopted the campaign strategy to counter NDC’s achievement in the health sector.
But President John Mahama and his government have finally been vindicated. This follows revelations by Accra based JOY FM which conducted its own fact check to check political lies and to inform electorates to make right decisions.
The campaign has been part of an agenda to mislead the public to buy into the propaganda that the Mahama administration has failed and is simply incompetent. This has gone on for years in spite of evidence provided by government which was eventually captured in the GREEN BOOK. Last month, July 9, 2016, when the NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo Addo campaigned in the Brong Ahafo region, he again raised the issue.
“The Scheme has collapsed. It has been turned upside down. And I am coming to revive the National Health Insurance Scheme, which ensured that the poor in society gained access to healthcare without the financial burden which used to be associated with healthcare delivery (under the cash and carry regime),” he told supporters at Nkrankwanta and Diaba, both in the Dormaa West constituency of the Brong Ahafo Region.
But the NPP lies have been exposed and the party is expected to provide evidence. The JOY FM news report captured as ‘FACT CHECK’, has really bruised the NPP’s campaign strategy.
In the JOY FM report presented by Raymond Acquah, a careful assessment and research indicated that indeed, utilization or outpatient visits (i.e number of times people accessed Healthcare with the NHIS cards) was 597,000 in 2005. The figure rose to 9.34million in 2008, and over trebled to 29million in 2014, according to statistics by the National Health Insurance Authority.
“Active Membership, that is; the number of card holder or subscribers who either registered on the NHIS or renewed their registration in any particular year to enable them access health care in 2005 was 1.3million. In 2008 the subscriber base shot up to a whopping 11.2million. Again Claims Payment at the close of 2005 was 7.2million cedis. …the report noted.
It added that at the time the KUFUOR led NPP was leaving office in 2009, NHIS claims was about 183million cedis. This shot to 1.07 billion cedis in 2014, an amount that was obviously difficult to raise resulting in the series of threats and suspension of services to NHIS card bearers.
Joy FM’s FACT CHECK among other things also confirmed that;
“The average period of receiving card after registration in 2005 was within 3 to 6months. Nothing changed till 2008. First time registrants since 2013, receive their cards instantly, that is, same day of registration and the introduction of the biometric/smart card has reduced corruption”.
It added … “TODAY as many as 30 thousand people are enrolled onto the scheme every single day. Averagely 35 new applications are received from healthcare facilities monthly across the country wanting to join the scheme as service providers. And the NHIS has 4,600 healthcare facilities licensed to provide service to NHIS members across the country. These are made up of government, mission and private facilities while an average of zero facilities leave or stop providing service under the scheme in a month. And patients covered by the Scheme are covered by 517 different formulations of medicines on the NHIS medicines list”.
Though the Minority in Parliament is fully aware of the achievements and developments from various presentations by the Health and Finance Ministers, they equally joined the diabolic agenda.
The chorus always intensified when payments to service providers delayed ignoring the implication of media discussions fuelled by their lies.
Nana Akufo Addo and the NPP have also forgotten the negative signal affected prospective card bearers and patients who must have abandoned renewals or registering for the first time because of the false claims.
It’s a verifiable fact that the NHIS benefit package covers 95% of all reported disease conditions in Ghana, in fact one of the most generous in the world.
Presently new membership payment for the year is 30 cedis and this according to officials is lower in rural areas. This fee is lower in rural areas. Renewal of ID card costs 28 cedis.
Interestingly, about 70% percent of subscribers do not pay premium. These include pregnant women, persons under 18years old, the aged, SSNIT contributors, special support under LEAP.
The expose obviously has dealt a heavy blow on NPP’s campaign strategy for the health sector which has witnessed massive investment in infrastructure over the last four years.
Over two billion cedis invested so far are expected to add 6,000 new beds and modern equipment to both new and existing facilities.
Some of the massive projects include the University of Ghana Medical Center, the Ridge and Police Hospitals, the Kumasi Military Hospital under construction, new regional hospitals at Bolgatanga and Wa as well as scores of Polyclinics and CHPS compounds.
Experts believe the JOY FM ‘FACT SHEET’ and what other media houses will roll out as the 2016 electioneering campaign heats up, will put aspirants especially Presidential candidates on their toes.
It will also give the average electorate the opportunity to appreciate what government has done and equally weigh them with assessable promises to inform their decision come December 2016.