Experts at a stakeholders’ forum on health have declared the implementation of the NDC’s much touted one-time premium for subscribers of the National Health Insurance Scheme, a technically impossible feat to achieve.
According to the forum the implementation of the one-time premium will widen the funding gap and create a deep erosion of its expenditure. The forum therefore advised against its implementation.
The NDC promised a one-time premium for users of the scheme during its campaign for the 2008 elections. The Minister for Health, Alban Bagbin recently told Citi News
that although Parliament had passed the National Insurance Bill into law, the introduction of the the new policy will have to wait until next year.
However, the Greater Accra Region Director of the Ghana Health Service, Professor Irene Agyapong in an interview on Eyewitness News
, said, “from the technical analysis this is no feasible.”
According to Prof. Agyapong “this doesn’t mean that they [experts] are stopping anybody from doing this; we are saying that if you insist on doing this the problems you face are probably going to be worse than the status quo.”
“Several recommendations have come out of this issue. One of them is that we must look at how to put more money into the National Health Insurance Fund. It’s an excellent fund, a very good idea and we need to put more money into it,” she said.
“Basically what are the options to bring money in, the other thing is, what are the options to increase efficiency so that we reduce waste?”
She said the final call on the proposed recommendations will have to be approved by Parliament and will also need bi-partisan support.
A World Bank report released in August, 2012 said the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) could go bankrupt “as early as 2013.
“For the NHIS to expand enrollment and become sustainable, more public resources will be needed. The system is too inefficient to absorb significant new resources; however, without major reforms, some of which lie outside the purview of the NHIS, it is difficult to argue for major increases in funding, particularly given Ghana's fragile macroeconomic/fiscal situation,” the report said.
By: Evans Effah/Citifmonline.com/Ghana