The Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu has warned that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) risk collapsing unless government comes up with other innovative ways to fund the programme.
His comments come after President Akufo-Addo in a keynote address on Saturday April 21, 2018 at the London School of Economics’ Africa Summit on the theme ‘Africa at Work; Educated, Employed and Empowered’ said his administration is reviving the strength of the Health Insurance Scheme which was plagued by debt under the previous administration.
His government, he said has paid GH¢1billion out of the GH¢1.2billion debt that was crippling the health insurance scheme in the last 15 months.
As a result, “the Scheme is regaining its effectiveness, so that for a minimum amount, subscribers can have access to a wide range of medical services,” stated Akufo-Addo.
The leadership of government hospitals has, however, debunked the president’s claims as untenable.
The NHIA recently announced plans to hike the Health Insurance levy by 1% moving it from 2.5% to 3.5%. Currently, former workers pay 2.5% of their 17.5% contribution from the tier one pension fund to run the NHIS.
Speaking at a health summit Monday, April 23 2018, the health Minister said government is considering taxation to support the running of the scheme.
“We want free healthcare for all… [but] clearly the health insurance is not sustainable now. You can all see it,” he said citing the huge arrears owed service providers.
“The previous regime left a massive debt overhang. Now, we have managed to pay [and] we also accumulating,” he stated.
He thus called for a passionate debate on how to fix the challenges facing the health insurance scheme.