Government says it is taking steps to capture the treatment of some Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to improve easy access to health care.
This move, the sector ministry say will reduce the psychological and financial burden of people living with NCDs.
This was made known by the Deputy Minister for Health, Alexander Kwodwo Kom Abban at the launch of the Ghana Advocacy Agenda of People Living with NCDs in Accra on Tuesday, May 21, 2019.
The Advocacy Agenda which was developed as part of the initiative to promote the meaningful involvement of People Living with NCDs in the NCD response framework, was developed by the Ghana NCD Alliance (GhNCDA) in consultation with over 100 people living with NCDs and health stakeholders.
Treatment of NCDs such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes warrants a huge cost that extends beyond health, undermines workforce productivity and economic prosperity of the country.
The Deputy Minister in his address at the launch observed that government was committed to ensuring that, non-communicable Diseases which are responsible for 43 percent of all deaths in the country are brought to the minimum.
This intervention includes effort to capture treatment of the disease under the NHIS to reduce the cost of treatment and drugs.
This according to sector minister is in line with the Ministry’s initiative to ensure universal health coverage for all.
“Efforts are being made to ensure that the treatment of some NCDs are captured under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) as a way to alleviate the burden on people living with NCDs with regards to economic cost and access to health care,” he said.
The Minister was however not able to give a definitive timeline for the start of the proposal except to say that, it will depend on the completion of the draft National NCD policy together with its policy.
“When the draft policies and strategies are ready and see which of those NCDs we can get the NHIS to add. For now give us from now to June ending where both policy and strategy is likely to be ready,” he indicated.
According to him, his outfit has tasked a committee to finish work on the draft policy by May ending. However, the committee has suggested that it will be better to have a policy together with its strategies for implementation.
As a result, he added that the committee has requested for an extra month to complete the work. The Minister is yet to approve the committee’s request though.
Mr. Abban said once that process is over, there will be consultation with stakeholders on the kind of diseases to be included in the NHIS.
“They are requesting for a month extension of time to get it completed. Thereafter, I believe that there would be that broad stakeholder consultation between government, NHIA and all those involved. It will be at that point that we will see our way clear as to which diseases must be covered and the time lines will also come in,” he indicated.