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Physician Assistants reach mutual understanding with NHIA|2/24/2020

   The Ghana Physician Assistants Association (GPAA) leadership has reached a mutual understanding regarding their concerns raised in connection with the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) directive that all private health centres manned by Physician Assistants should regularize their status or be decredentialed.

 

Previously, the NHIA stated that privately owned health centres manned by Physician assistants had up to 30th June, 2020 to upgrade their status with the Health Facilities Regulatory Agency and subsequently the NHIA. (Check the facts)The statement added that the Authority will no longer grant credentials to privately owned-Health centres manned by Physician Assistants. This is to ensure that Physician Assistants services are supervised in accordance with their training guidelines. In response, leadership of the GPAA felt the directive sought to stop its members from going into private practice and were not clear of the motives for the directive.At a stakeholder engagement spearheaded by the NHIA, a communique was issued at the end of the deliberations and below is the full text.

 NHIS PRESS COMMUNIQUE

 The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) cherishes the relationship with all of its valued stakeholders and affirms its commitment to keep engaging for the sustenance of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the growth of the health sector in general. The primary focus of the Scheme is to provide financial risk protection for all residents in Ghana and to achieve Universal Health Coverage as envisaged in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3).

In line with this commitment, Management of the NHIA, together with representatives from the Ministry of Health, Medical & Dental Council and Health Facilities Regulatory Authority (HEFRA), met with the leadership of the Ghana Physician Assistants Association on the 18th of February, 2020 to discuss issues pertaining to their credentialing status under the NHIS.  Participants at the end of the meeting agreed on the following: 

That NHIA continues to provide financial access to health for all residents of Ghana in a sustainable way.   That the NHIA will maintain its standards for credentialing of facilities and enforce all relevant protocols and guidelines as directed by the Ministry of Health to ensure quality of care at all levels.That all healthcare practitioners will strictly adhere to their regulatory guidelines for better health outcomes.

While acknowledging that Physician Assistants play a vital role in the health delivery sector, it is also imperative that their work is supervised in accordance with their training guidelines. That all facilities manned by Physician Assistants in the private sector will regularize their credentials with HEFRA and NHIA.

That the Medical and Dental Council as their regulator, together with HEFRA will engage the Physician Assistants Association to determine the best model of supervision for Physician Assistants in the private sector. All participants agreed to deliberate further and work in solidarity.   Issued on behalf of: Ministry of Health National Health Insurance Authority Medical & Dental Council Health Facilities Regulatory Authority Ghana Physician Assistants Association.

Source: Abdul Karim Naatogmah


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