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15.07.2009 Health

No political victimization under NHIS -Mensah

By Michael Boateng, Sunyani - Ghanaian Chronicle
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The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Mr. Sylvester Mensah, has refuted rumours making rounds in the country that some staff and managers of the scheme would be dismissed, due to their political affiliations.

“There would be no political victimisation under the scheme. We all have to learn to relate effectively with each other, regardless to our political affiliations,” he stressed.

Mr. Mensah further gave the assurance that the policy of the current government was not to politically dismiss any worker, but to ensure the need to relate effectively with each other for the sustainability of the scheme.

The CEO gave the assurance during a meeting with all core management staff of the scheme in the Brong-Ahafo Region, in Sunyani.

He noted that so much had been done, but a lot still remained, stressing that the entire NHIS architectural structure required a positive reformation, to serve the interests of Ghanaians.

According to Mr. Mensah, the super structure of a 15-member board over a management of six would not be tolerated by the current administration.

He hinted that the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) would conduct a forensic audit into the operations of the scheme at all levels, to unearth embezzlements that had thwarted its progress over the years.

Mr. Mensah also disclosed that random strict monitoring would be embarked upon to ensure that staff of the scheme work as expected, since the scheme would not entertain a situation whereby a data entry clerk would be entering less than hundred data per day.

He called on the Regional Minister and the District Chief Executives to assist in ensuring the progress and sustainability of the scheme, since they had critical roles in the administration of the scheme, based on the spirit of decentralisation.

The CEO acknowledged complaints of poor picture quality of clients' ID cards, delays in the issuance of the cards, and allegations of providing cheap basic drugs under the scheme, as a major source of worry, which had been taken into consideration for urgent redress.

He hinted that 120 medicines had been added to the medicine list to address few of the challenges reported by clients, as immediate clinical audits would be implemented to look at the issue of claims paid to service providers.

Mr. Sylvester Mensah used the occasion to announce that the Asunafo North Scheme Manager, Mr. Jephtar Apau, should step aside immediately for misconduct, whilst the Manager for Tano North, Mr. Amankona Diawuo, and that of Berekum, Mr. Stephen Kwaku Kankam, should report to the Regional Scheme office.

Based on this directive, the former National Claims Manager for the region, Mr. Afram Osei, takes responsibility of the regional office, Asunafo North, Tano North and Berekum offices, whilst Mr. Michael Appiah Sarpong, the former Regional Manager, is moved to the headoffice to support the Corporate Affairs office in Accra.

The Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr. Kwadwo Nyamekye Marfo, on his part, noted that the attitudes of officers under the scheme towards clients, were sometime uncalled for, as some tend to read politics into the scheme, and must cease.

“Our utterances and actions must have nothing to do with politics. We must see ourselves as professionals, devoid of politics to sustain the scheme,” he stressed. According to the Regional Minister, a change of government does not affect managers and staff of the scheme in any way, unless one wants to be affected, so there should be effective cooperation.

He assured them that the regional administration would assist the scheme in the region to have office accommodation befitting the status of a Regional Office.

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