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14.12.2007 Health

NHIS releases 32.4 million Ghana cedis in debt settlements

By GNA
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The National Health Insurance Council (NHIC) has paid 324 billion cedis for the settlement of all debts it owes to hospitals, clinics and pharmacy shops that provide services to scheme members.

To that end, the council has directed boards of the various schemes to furnish it with proof of payments.

The Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Mr Ras Boateng disclosed this in a speech read on his behalf at the second annual general meeting of the New Juaben Municipal Mutual Health Insurance Scheme in Koforidua on Wednesday.

He said Ghana had achieved the fastest rate of implementation of health insurance in the world, and that within a short time of three years of actual implementation, close to 50 percent of the country's population was accessing free healthcare.

Mr Boateng said the NHIC was happy with the trend of development in the scheme, especially in the new Juaben Municipality for achieving 70 percent coverage, far exceeding the national coverage.

He urged other schemes to strive on since the scheme was the best secured social welfare package.

Mr Ras Boateng however said it had come to the notice of the NHIC that data inputs were not correct and urged the Boards of Directors and managements of the district schemes to take immediate steps to rectify the mistakes.

The Board Chairman of the New Juaben Mutual Health Insurance Scheme, Nana Kwame Owusu, said the scheme had collected a total premium of 5.4 billion cedis from clients and received 23.1 billion cedis from the Insurance Council.

He said the scheme paid an average of 1.98 billion cedis on a monthly basis to the 12 health facilities it operated with, on behalf of about 18,000 clients.

The Board Chairman commended the district management team and the new Juaben Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Nana Kwasi Adjei-Boateng for their pioneering role in the success story of the scheme.

The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Affram Asiedu, said the NHIS had come to stay to improve the health care delivery system so it behoved on everyone to give it the needed support.

He advised the service providers to charge realistic fees to ensure the sustainability of the scheme and entreated members to guard against the abuse of the opportunity.

Awards were presented to the pioneering staff of the district management team, premium agents, the MCE and others, whose efforts had brought the scheme to its present level.

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