Health News Wed, 10 Jul 2013
Some alumini of the (KIT) Royal Tropical Institute, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in the country for a two-week refresher course have praised Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme for its strides towards attaining Universal Health Coverage.The 24-member team made up of health policy experts drawn from Europe, Africa and Asia, has been in the country on a short refresher course on Universal Health Coverage.
The course among others is considering Ghana’s NHIS as a case study for health financing. The program has been under the auspices of the Royal Tropical Institute in Netherlands and the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).
Leader of the team, Yme van der Berg told the media when they visited the NHIA on Tuesday, that Ghana offers a very promising health financing model in its National Health Insurance Scheme.
In his view, Ghana is on course as far as programs towards Universal Health Coverage were concerned.
Mr van der Berg explained that it was not difficult to settle on Ghana as a destination to converge for their course because of gains the country has made with its NHIS. He praised Ghanaians for setting aside a 2.5% NHIL to support the NHIS and the other sources of funding available for the Scheme.
He was particularly impressed about the wide acceptance the NHIS has received from Ghanaians.
Chief Executive of the NHIA, Sylvester A. Mensah, told the delegation that Ghana is assiduously working towards attaining Universal Health Coverage.
According to him, a number of policies and strategies have been developed to ensure that many more people across the country have access to healthcare.
Mr Mensah mentioned that: “by the establishment of the NHIS and the commitment it receives from government, Ghana is poised for Universal Health Coverage.”
The NHIA boss further stated that Ghana’s NHIS has a very attractive strategy to extending access to healthcare for Ghanaians through the National health Insurance Authority’s exemption policy, which excludes about 69% of NHIS subscribers from premium payment.
He mentioned some of the exempt groups as pregnant women, people under 18 years of age, the aged and people identified as indigents.
Francis-Xavier Andoh-Adjei, Deputy Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at the NHIA and also a facilitator on the course, explained that the Royal Tropical Institute of Netherlands is one of the foremost schools in the world on the international course in health development and public health, and the NHIA considers it an honour to have alumini from the school drawn from many parts of the world visit Ghana to understudy our system.
According to Mr Andoh-Adjei, apart from their classroom exercises, the team has undertaken a number of field trips to some healthcare institutions in Ghana to have a practical appreciation of how the NHIS works.