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Ghana's NHIS is a shining example for Africa—WHO Country Director |11/12/2019

The World Health Organization (WHO) touts Ghana's National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) as a shining model for the African continent. The outgoing Country Director, Dr. Owen Laws Kaluwo made the remark at a farewell engagement with Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey in Accra. He said, "The policy is a good health intervention which makes Ghana a pacesetter on the continent.

 

 The government of Ghana needs to improve the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) so it can achieve optimum effectiveness.

The social intervention policy is an initiative many African countries would like to copy." Dr. Kaluwo emphasized that, "Ghana is one country that has such a system that others are envying and aspiring to have.”  He accordingly called for a multifaceted approach to deal with challenges associated with the policy's implementation. "We need to strengthen it so it can perform better.

 

I think what we need to do is to all embrace that and make sure that we work together towards achieving that objective and many countries come or request to come to Ghana to learn what Ghana has done in terms of having such a national health insurance scheme." “Despite the many improvements, we are way ahead in terms of having a system that ensures that people do not pay out of their pockets." Ms. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey thanked Dr. Kaluwo for strengthening Ghana's ties with the World Health Organization. She said despite the obstacles, the NHIS is achieving its mission of providing financial risk protection against the cost of quality basic health care for all residents in Ghana.  

 

 

 

NHIA hosts WHO training workshop Recently, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) hosted about 90 participants from 22 Anglophone countries as part of a weeklong workshop on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) held in Accra, under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO). The workshop aimed at increasing the knowledge and understanding of reforms for the Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) by discussing health financing with focus on political economy of strategic purchasing in the health sector. Participating countries were expected to benefit from Ghana's experience in the operation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) distinct model.   

 

 

Presentations were made on different aspects of the NHIA operations. These include, Quality Assurance, Provider Payments, Credentialing and Claims management.  Dr. Francis Asenso-Boadi, Acting Director of Provider Payments Directorate educated participants to understand and appreciate the various payment models. Mr. Ismail Osei, Acting Director, Quality Assurance focused on Clinical Audit and Quality Assurance while Dr. Opoku-Boateng dwelled on Credentialing and Mr. William Ohene Agyekum handled claims management of the NHIS. 

Their presentations sought to strengthen the knowledge of the participants from the Ministries of Finance, Health and WHO offices in all the participating countries. 

 

 

The participants visited the NHIS Claims Processing Centre (CPC) at Dworwulu and the Ayawaso District Office to understand the practical aspects of the NHIS operations. The lead facilitator, a Health Economist from the WHO Ghana Country Office, Kingsley Addai Frimpong in an interview on the sidelines said the workshop’s objective was achieved. He commended the NHIA’s resource persons for their excellent presentations and anticipated that the participants would make good use of the expertise to improve efficiency in their respective countries.  NHIS shining example Ghana’s NHIS continues to gain global recognition as a distinct model for health insurance implementation in developing countries and beyond. 

 

A dozen of delegations from several countries have undertaken study tours to tap from the NHIS unique experience.  These include delegations from Benin, Cameroun, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Kenya and Sudan.  Deserving Awards  The NHIS has so far won several awards with the latest being the Most Outstanding Contribution Public Sector Digitization institution in Africa and the Most Innovative Public Sector Institution in Ghana.   

 

  Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Ghana is a signatory to the Universal Healthcare Coverage and the NHIS is the leading vehicle to its attainment by 2030. Ghana’s current UHC journey began in 2003 when the National Health Insurance Act 650 was passed by Parliament and subsequently amended to Act 852.  At that time, the policy objective of the Ghana National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was to assure equitable and universal access for all residents of Ghana to an acceptable quality package of essential healthcare. 

 

  Source: Abdul Karim Naatogmah 


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