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24.06.2009 Health

Government to address policy issues of NHIS - Kunbuor

By GNA
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Tamale, June 23, GNA - Government in collaboration with the World Bank has established a National Health Insurance Project (NHIP) to address key policy and operational issues affecting the smooth operations of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

The NHIP, under a governing body the Inter Agency Steering Committee (IASC), would ensure strengthening of the financial and operational management of the scheme.

Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, Deputy Minister of Health and Chairman of NHIP, announced this at a stakeholders' meeting on NHIS at Tamale on Monday.

He said three major components of the scheme to be addressed under NHIP were, Policy Development, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Management Training.

Dr Kunbuor noted that although the scheme was in operation, it was faced with some policy and operational management challenges that had to take into account the population coverage that would continue to expand and the premium structure that was consistent with equity and efficiency objectives.

He pointed out that the scheme; had to contend with risk management systems that provided adequate financial protection to prevent impoverishment during illness; equalization programmes to ensure equity in financing and access to services, as well as provider incentives to promote quality care and efficient use of scarce resources.

Mr Hudu Issah, Northern Regional Manager of NHIS, said there were 18 schemes operating in the Region with a membership of 1,293,001 representing 72.22 per cent of the Region's population.

He said 1,078,308 of the members had received their identity cards and were accessing quality health care from the 258 accredited health facilities in the Region.

Mr Sylvester Mensah, Chief Executive Officer of NHIS, said there was the need to restructure operations of the Scheme to ensure accountability and transparency.

GNA

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