The Brong-Ahafo Regional Office of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has appealed to religious leaders and all stakeholders to help in the fight against co-payment and extortions at the various hospitals in the Region and the nation in general.
Mr. George Oppong Danquah, the acting Regional Operations Manager, made the appeal when the Regional Operations Team of the Authority paid a courtesy call on the Most Reverend Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, Catholic Bishop of Sunyani at the Diocesan Secretariat, on Thursday at Abesim, near Sunyani.
The visit was to commend Bishop Gyamfi for role of the Catholic Church and its immense contributions towards the establishment of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and health delivery services in the Region.
It was also to brief the Bishop on the policies and activities of the Authority to help find alternative sources of funding to enhance the NHIS’s finances.
He stressed that co-payment introduced by some health care providers to collect money illegally from patients and later billed the NHIA for payment could lead to the collapse of the Scheme.
Mr Danquah cautioned that any health provider found engaging in co-payment or any other act contrary to the rules and regulations governing the Scheme would be accordingly dealt with by law because such acts affected the effective health delivery services in the Region and would destroy the purpose of the Insurance Scheme.
He assured that the NHIA was making strenuous efforts to overcome the challenges facing it to pay all arrears to make the Scheme financially sustainable and called on the Providers to dialogue with the managers of the Scheme rather than frustrate the poor patients who visited the facilities.
Most Rev. Gyamfi thanked the Team for the visit and assured them of the Church’s determination to make the NHIS work once again and also pleaded with the Authority to expedite payment schedules since that was the reason why some of the hospitals engaged in co-payment and other harmful behaviours.
He appealed to the Ministry of Health and their agencies-HEFRA and NHIA to upgrade all the Catholic health facilities in the Region from the primary health facilities to secondary ones, since they all had qualified personnel and equipment and could, therefore, deliver efficient and quality health services.
Most Rev Gyamfi implored government to reconsider the policy where anti-snake medicines could not be administered at the Community Health and Planning Services (CHPS) Compounds mainly established to serve the rural communities.
Earlier, the team which included Messrs Alexander Fordjour and Yaw Ackah Blay, both senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officers interacted with some patients at the Sunyani Municipal and Regional Hospitals and entreated them to report co-payment and other extortions by the health providers to help sustain the Scheme.