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11.03.2013 NDC News

NHIA Boss is a failure, he must go – NDC group demands

By Myjoyonline.com
Sylvester MensahSylvester Mensah
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A group associated with the ruling NDC has called on President Mahama to sack Mr. Sylvester Mensah, CEO of the Ghana National Health Insurance Authority, whom they accused of being a “failure, burden and liability” on the government.

The Alliance for the Empowerment of NDC Constituency Branch Executives maintained: “Mr. President, for the last four years despite massive infrastructural investments and resources available to Mr. Sylvester Mensah, he has woefully failed to provide leadership to realize our dream of one-time premium policy implementation; personally failed to send the scheme to rural-urban poor families; as Chief Executive he has been more of a reactionary than a proactive/strategic manager of the institution and the scheme.”

Chairman of the Alliance, Ebenezer Arkutu, in a statement copied to myjoyonline.com said claims by Sylvester Mensah that the National Health Insurance Scheme under his watch was ranked higher and better than that of the United Kingdom and the United States of America “is in fact insulting and annoying to say the least”.

According to Mr Arkutu, the opposition in the 2012 elections exploited his failure and portrayed the picture that the scheme had collapsed under the NDC government.

He therefore warned: “Mr. President, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Health Insurance Authority cannot keep his job or be trusted with any other position in our government to advance the Better Ghana Agenda. He must go or else the foot soldiers will let him go by any means necessary. This is important to serve as an example to those who are clamouring for positions as well as those already appointed in the current administration that they must achieve policy vision of the NDC governments' manifesto. This era is not an era of “chop money position(s)”.

Below is the statement
HOLD IT!! MR. SYLVESTER MENSAH…CEO OF NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE AUTHORITHY (NHIA) INDEED HE MUST GO, MR. PRESIDENT.

We call on you Mr. President as the leader of our party to consider dismissing Mr. Sylvester Mensah, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Health Insurance Authority for been a failure, burden and liability on the NDC government for the last four years.

His claim as reported in the media that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) under his watch is ranked higher and better than that of the United Kingdom and the United States of America is in fact insulting and annoying to say the least.

Mr. President, for the last four years despite massive infrastructural investments and resources available to Mr. Sylvester Mensah, he has woefully failed to provide leadership to realize our dream of one-time premium policy implementation; personally failed to send the scheme to rural-urban poor families; as Chief Executive he has been more of a reactionary than a proactive/strategic manager of the institution and the scheme.

Mr. President, kindly consider our appeal seriously as we work together to advance the Better Ghana Agenda to ensure your success as the most successful president in the history of the forth republic.

In 2008, we won an election with a policy vision to make the NHIS premium one- time payment to extend and advance access to quality healthcare to all Ghanaians particularly the poor. The appointment of Mr. Sylvester Mensah as the Chief Executive of the scheme amongst others is to bring his expertise on board towards the realization of this most important singular policy promise to the benefit of the majority of Ghanaians who voted for the NDC.

For four years, Mr. Sylvester Mensah, has shown no leadership in this regard and rather reduced the implementation of our policy vision to boardroom discussions, conferences and symposiums. Is that what he was appointed for? Or appointed to achieve? He was appointed as far as we are concern to strengthen the scheme, make it more efficient and above all to achieve the policy vision of the NDC governments' one-time premium payment.

Mr. President, if political appointment is not based on expertise and the belief that those appointed to serve will deliver, then what is Mr. Sylvester Mensah still at post for? If that is it Mr. President, then anybody at all can do what he is currently doing. It is not about doing the little things and achieving the simple things.

Mr. President, by his gargantuan failure he became a burden and a liability to our re-election campaign in the 2012 elections. The opposition led by Nana Akufo-Addo took our party's failed promise to TOWN. Mr. Sylvester Mensah was missing. It took your singular leadership and the grassroots' to wage a consolidated defense and neutralized the effect of the oppositions' charge. Mr. President, why should you and the grassroots do his work for which he is paid monthly to do? WHY?

Another reason why Mr. Sylvester Mensah must go is because for the last four years he has been more of an armchair Chief Executive than a field general of the institution and the scheme. He has failed to personally lead the scheme to the rural-urban poor communities who are in need of the scheme most compared to the middle/upper class who can reasonably afford their healthcare. For the last four years he was stucked to his air-conditioned office chair and instead attending international conferences one after the other. His failure to embark on grassroots/community outreach programmes throughout the country to make the scheme more meaningful to the plight and suffering of the rural-urban poor families, explains why 62% of the rich signed on to the scheme compared to the poor according to recent media report.

Mr. President, the opposition in the 2012 elections exploited his failure amongst the rural-urban poor communities to go to town that the scheme has collapsed and even with the promise that they will provide insurance coverage for all children less than 18 years of age, though they were already covered under the scheme. Mr. President, we were on the defense for nothing. Again it took your personal leadership and intervention to correct the wrong impression and to set the record straight. Your information to that effect took the media by surprise and not to talk about the rural-urban poor communities and their families who have been denied quality healthcare all this while. Indeed, Mr. Sylvester Mensah became a liability for our re-election campaign in the 2012 elections. Mr. President, your good self, the NDC communication team as well as the foot soldiers have to do extra work during the campaign to convince the electorates of the viability, soundness and the reliability of the National Health Insurance Scheme under the NDC government. Mr. President, why should it be so?

Mr. President, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Health Insurance Authority cannot keep his job or be trusted with any other position in our government to advance the Better Ghana Agenda. He must go or else the foot soldiers will let him go by any means necessary. This is important to serve as an example to those who are clamouring for positions as well as those already appointed in the current administration that they must achieve policy vision of the NDC governments' manifesto. This era is not an era of “chop money position(s)”.

Mr. President, last but not least, Mr. Sylvester Mensahs' attitude towards critics to his lack of expertise and leadership has been insulting and snobbish. This attitudinal setback courted bad media publicity for the institution which was exploited by the opposition over the years, particularly during the 2012 elections. Mr. Sylvester Mensah called managers of the scheme (with HND qualification) as unqualified and incompetent; calling medical doctors who had concerns about the scheme stupid, to name but a few. The NDC/GOVERNMENT communication team in many instances has to come to the defense of the institution and the scheme by engaging stakeholders and Ghanaians at large in order to minimize the effect of his loose talk on the NDC government and the Party. He is protective of his job more than the institution and scheme hence his confrontational attitude.

Mr. President, the institution over the last four years under the leadership of Mr. Sylvester Mensah has been more of a reactionary than proactive in its engagement with the stakeholders throughout the Country. The poor implementation of the capitation policy in the Ashanti Region; financial corruption of the scheme by managers; non-payment of scheme providers; needless staff strikes, to name but a few.

Mr. Sylvester Mensahs' lack of expertise and leadership is a clear indication that he is not fully in charge of the institution, and for that matter the future of the scheme is under auto-pilot. Over the years he has failed to put the Ministry of Information to good use and not to mention the strategic use of the telecommunication companies in reaching out to the masses who are in need of relevant health information and/or for better appreciation of the institution and the scheme for their wellbeing.

Mr. President at the end thousands of Ghana cedis would have to be expended in the name of media advertisements by the institution at the cost to the tax payer as well as the NDC Party during the 2012 elections.

Our appeal for the dismissal of Mr. Sylvester Mensah is in contribution to building a society driven by a responsible and accountable leadership and citizens served with a greater sense of urgency.

Mr. President, we shall be reminding you as long as we see him at post and then action by the foot soldiers if it is taking too long.

Long live Ghana!!
Long live the NDC!!
Long live the President!!
Long live the NDC Foot soldiers!!
Signed
EBENEZER ARKUTU…
SECRETARY, TOM-TOM BRANCH---AYAWASO CENTRAL CONSITUENCY

CHAIRMAN FOR THE ALLIANCE FOR THE EMPOWERMENT OF NDC CONSTITUENCY BRANCH EXECUTIVES

OTHER LEADING MEMBERS:
ALBERT SWATSON NYARKO
KARIM HABIB
MARTIN SENYO

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