Ghana’s NHIA is global model – Sly Mensah

Former Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Sylvester Mensah says despite negative reportage the scheme attracted in the last couple of weeks, Ghana’s Health Insurance Scheme remains a global model.

According to him, the scheme has also become a centre for international knowledge and experience sharing while maintaining that the NHIA is considered a leading agency under the Ministry of Health in terms of performance and systems.

“What has attracted the attention of international players in Health insurance industry is the Scheme’s management approach, structure, strategy and systems,” Mr. Mensah noted Thursday, January 14, 2016, while speaking at the 67th Annual New Year School at the University of Ghana.

Mr Mensah, who was invited as a resource person, spoke on the topic; “Ghana’s NHIS model and the transition from Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ICT efficiency”.

This year’s Annual New Year School is under the theme – “Promoting universal health for sustainable development in Ghana and the role of ICT”.

Mr. Mensah advised academia to endeavour to help the debate on performance by making comparative analysis and assessment of Ghana’s NHIS with other countries in both developed and developing countries, in order to develop a more comprehensive understanding of Ghana’s efforts at ensuring Universal Financial Risk Protection against Health Care delivery.

He took his audience through Ghana’s NHIS model, funding strategy, trends in utilization and active membership as well as the scheme’s focus under the Sustainable Development Goals. According to the former Chief Executive, the NHIA has the largest ICT infrastructure in the country presently, with a wide deployment of ICT for improved efficiency.

Mr Mensah listed a number of ICT applications such as membership registration, nationwide instant issuance of bio-ID cards with authentication devices which are yet to be deployed in all health facilities nationwide, claims and e-claims applications. The rest are call centre services, voice and data communication platform linking schemes and providers as well as securing free internal communication within the NHIA Data Centre and a data recovery site among others.

Despite being the leader in ICT deployment in the country, Mr. Mensah said the NHIA still has a lot of miles to cover

as he foresees the inherent sustainability to be a potential threat to the scheme.

He however, concluded that government is undertaking a comprehensive review of the scheme to restructure its benefit package, exemption regime as well as other equity considerations to redefine what to purchase and for whom, in relation to available funding in the medium to long term.

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