General News of 2014-01-12

One-time NHIS premium ‘is history’ - NHIA Boss

Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Sylvester Mensah says the suggestion of a one-time National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) premium did not reflect in the manifesto of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in 2008.
He said discussion on that suggestion, which was one of the prominent messages of the NDC during the 2008 electioneering campaign period, has been put down the gurgler.
“We have put that behind us,” Mr Mensah stated on TV3’s Hot Issues on Saturday, January 11, 2014.
“We are no longer discussing one-time premium. I believe this will be the last time I will even mention the phrase one-time premium,” he remarked.
He said a stakeholder’s meeting held last year suggested to the government to put such consideration aside.
He however stated that contrary to reports that the Scheme is collapsing, there has been stability “in terms of structure and systems”.
“We seem to be on top of our job.”
Mr Mensah admitted, however, that there are challenges that are only characteristic of every social intervention programme.
“No country in the world has totally eliminated out of pocket payment.”
He said the Authority is aimed at increasing the number of subscribers to about 80 per cent.
As a result, he says the Authority will embark on radical measures to meet this target.