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13.02.2007 General News

Multiple Attendance Hinders NHIS

By Times
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Multiple hospital attendance by registered members under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is gradually affecting the smooth implementation of the scheme in the Central Region.

The scheme managers of the 13 District Mutual Insurance Scheme argued that some registered members attend clinics three to four times a week with the slightest headache, due to the non-payment policy under the scheme.

The multiple visits, they stated had resulted in high attendant rate in the various hospitals, thereby putting pressure on the finances being used to run the scheme.

The scheme managers stated this at a meeting with the Regional Co-ordinating Council.

The meeting which was attended by District Chief Executives and the Board of the schemes was to develop strategies to improve the coverage of the scheme in the region.

They therefore called for the intensification of educational programmes on the appropriate ways of accessing the NHIS and how best to sustain it.

They also called for a clear cut policy on the premium being paid on the NHIS, saying, 'those beyond the minimum premium of ¢72,000 insist on paying the same amount'.

The Central Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Aaron Offei, who confirmed the claim mentioned Assin North and Upper Denkyira as some of the districts noted for the multiple attendance.

He called for the institution of policies to ensure the sustainance of the DHIS schemes in order to promote the health needs of the people.

He expressed concern about the coverage of the scheme in the region so far and called for a collaborative approach to increase it to 50 per cent by the end of the year.

The Regional Minister, Nana Ato Arthur, on his part called for a deeper monitoring and supervison of the schemes and urged DCEs to get involved in the policies of the NHIS.

He stated that the over emphasis on ¢72,000 as premium for all categories instead of ¢0 to ¢480,000 plus registration fees and lack of a common software for the printing of identity cards constitute a challenge for the scheme.

Additionally, he said, deliberate attempt by some clients to provide wrong information during registration is also affecting the smooth running of the scheme.

He stated that the region had so far registered 558,726 people out of the 1.7 million population, which constitute 32.87 per cent with only 222,107 people issued with ID Cards.

Nana Ato Arthur further said that the scheme had so far collected ¢5.3 billion as premium from the scheme and added that premium support from the NHIS is ¢16.1 billion with the exemption of the Gomoa District.

He mentioned poor attitude towards clients by some health personnel and the tenancy of some providers to prescribe outside the NHIS drug list as a major challenge facing the scheme.

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