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01.12.2005 General News

NHIS Council exceeds target - Chairman

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Accra, Dec. 1, GNA - Mr Frank Adu (Jnr), Chairman of the National Health Insurance Council, on Thursday noted that despite the challenges facing the scheme, the Council had exceeded the target it set for itself.

He said some 2.933 million resident Ghanaians had so far been enrolled onto the scheme representing more than 46 per cent above the target set for itself.

"Ghanaians must be assured that the implementation process is on course," he told a press briefing in Accra on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

He said as it was with every programme or project, there existed some challenges but with time they would be addressed.

Mr Adu (Jnr) said as at August this year, 14 billion cedis out of the approved total amount of 139 billion cedis had been disbursed to 42 schemes that had started claims management as first quarter grant. He admitted that in spite of the modest achievement made so far there were some teething problems that had to be grappled with and mentioned some as low rate of registration, especially in the metropolitan areas, which prompted the Council to support the Greater Accra Region to embark on a mass registration exercise.

Mr Adu Jnr. attributed this to inadequate publicity and inertia and appealed to Ghanaians to register and take full advantage of the numerous benefits that awaited them.

He cited other challenges such as inadequate staff, uniform software package for all schemes to ensure networking among them. In all, 123 district, municipal and sub-metropolitan mutual health insurance schemes had officially been established out of which 84 had successfully passed through the necessary implementation processes and were at claims management stage, he said.

Mr Adu Jnr. said the Council had enough funds to support claims management, "except that due diligence must be done to avoid misapplication of funds".

"At the end of the day, we have to account for every cedi that we spend on the programme and every expenditure must be in conformity with the laid down accounting procedures as enshrined in the Financial Administration Law."

Mr Adu explained that there would not be any doubt that the scheme would succeed, saying it "will be the most valuable legacy that we shall hand on to generations yet unborn. The challenge is now ours".

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