The Central Regional Branch Chairman of the Ghana Coalition of NGOs on Health, Mr Bright Amissah-Nyarko has said that apart from increasing premiums other means of raising funds to sustain the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) should be sought.
He made this statement following the response given by the Health Minister-designate, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu that for the NHIS to be sustained, premiums need to be increased.
According to Mr Agyemang-Manu, healthcare costs continue to escalate but premiums that are being paid to health insurance has been stagnant for a very long time.
However speaking on Radio Ghana Saturday, Mr Amissah-Nyarko indicated that one way of helping the situation is by giving premiums to people based on their economic gains adding that some meagre percentages can be put on the levies taken in the area of tourism, aviation and petroleum among others with the aim of raising funds to support the scheme.
“It is about time we increase premiums for the health insurance and also look at other ways we can raise funds to sustain the fund moving forward”
“We were of the view that people who have a very higher to average economic gain could be given different premiums and then we will also look at the lower class of society considering what they can do. Additionally, we proposed at least some percentages in the airline, tourism, aviation and petroleum levies as well as other places to cushion the fund used to sustain the health insurance scheme”, he stated.
According to him, currently, the fund used to sustain the scheme is struggling to pay everything under health and thus there is a lot of borrowing to sustain it adding that it is not the best approach to manage the fund and thus it is about time Ghana looks at how we can domestically fund our insurance and healthcare in general.
Touching on their expectations as NGOs on health from the Minister-designate, he indicated that when Mr Agyemang-Manu is given the nod one of the things they would like him to work on is the establishment of a fund for domestic immunization in the country.
“He’s been a very good candidate. Although he has a lot of backlogs to clear, we still think that if he is given a second chance he has a strategy to implement and that will help us move forward.”
“We want to tell him that it has become necessary for us to look at how we can establish the fund for domestic immunization in the country. Now all other things are aligned to vaccines. We have about 13 preventable vaccines that are being declared by the Ghana Health Service as a routine. The number will shoot up when we add COVID-19 and probably Malaria vaccines. Thus, it is about time we got a fund for immunization. This fund will be there to support our preventive health care and always we can rely on it and then move forward,” he noted.