The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has begun the process to hook the Brong Ahafo, Central and the Western regions onto the capitation mode of operation under the insurance scheme
As the first step, the authority is currently sensitising major stakeholders in the Brong Ahafo Region to enable them to understand the operation of the capitation system so that they can assist in the dissemination of information to the people.
The capitation system, which began in the Ashanti Region in 2012 has since been extended to the Volta, Upper East and Upper West regions.
Under the system, beneficiaries of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) are made to select only one health facility where they will visit when they fall sick.
This is unlike the current situation where beneficiaries of the scheme can go to a number of health facilities for treatment of the same health problem.
At a meeting with the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Justice Samuel Adjei, the NHIA Director, Providers/Payments, Mr Anthony Gingong said “If there is any good policy that has been introduced in the country since independence, then it is the NHIS”.
He explained that both the free medical and cash-and-carry policies introduced earlier could not stand the test of time as a result of a myriad of problems associated with their implementation.
Mr Gingong said even though NHIS was a good policy, its cost implication was huge and thus required a new implementation approach to make it sustainable.
He explained further that while in 2005, the NHIA paid GH˘7.5 million to service providers with the 2.5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT), the amount rose to a whopping GH˘780 million in 2013 with the same percentage of VAT.
Mr Gingong also said there was the need for a more efficient mode of operation to ensure the sustainability of the NHIS, adding that “posterity will not forgive the present generation if we allow the NHIS to collapse”.
He added that while the introduction of the capitation mode of operation would enable the NHIA to project the amount to be paid to service providers, it would also enable the beneficiaries to choose one health facility where their medical record could be monitored for efficient health delivery.
Mr Gingong said the introduction of the capitation in the Ashanti Region had been so successful to the extent that currently, 97 per cent of NHIS beneficiaries in the region had been hooked onto the system.
He stated that the NHIA had learnt lessons from the hullabaloo that characterised the introduction of the capitation system in the Ashanti Region and based on that, it would ensure that key stakeholders were sensitised thoroughly before the system was rolled out in the remaining regions.
Deputy B/A Regional Minister
Responding, the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Justice Samuel Adjei, said the region’s residents cherished the NHIS policy since it was started at Nkoranza before its nationwide introduction.
He gave the assurance that measures would be put in place to ensure that the people were educated for the efficient implementation of the system.
Mr Adjei urged the NHIA to learn lessons from the bad publicity that characterised the introduction of the capitation system in the Ashanti Region by sensitising the media to enable them to take part in the education of the people.
Source: Daily Graphic
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