With an increasing focus on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by the year 2030, Ghana's National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) successfully organized the first-ever two-day multi sectorial Regional Conference on Financing Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Health Security, at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra.
As powered by the NHIS and the WHO from October 12 to 13, 2023, the conference was on the theme, "Overcoming financial barriers and providing financial risk protection," which marked the commencement of Ghana's NHIS 20th Anniversary as well as the WHO 75th Anniversary.
Representatives from 30 health insurance agencies in Africa, finance ministries and key development partners in the global health ecosystem attended the mammoth event.
The conference sought to promote multi-sectoral collaboration and foster partnerships between key stakeholders to ensure that no one is left behind in terms of universal access to quality and affordable healthcare services.
Ghana's Health Minister, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu at the opening ceremony recounted the NHIS journey and called for more concerted efforts to sustain it.
"Ghana's NHIS has gotten massive international recognition but much more needs to be done to sustain it. Let's keep expanding social health insurance schemes to ensure that populations are protected from catastrophic health expenditures."
The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Board Chairman, Dr. Ernest K. P Kwarko touted Ghana's NHIS as the beacon of other schemes in the Subregion.
He urged all actors in the health sector to rekindle the spirit and make the NHIS more resilient and sustainable. Dr. Ernest Kwarko said the practice of demanding extra monies (Co-payments) for services covered by the NHIS is totally unacceptable and reaffirmed management's determination to stop it.
The WHO Regional Director for Africa, in a speech read on her behalf advocated the development of robust health financial systems to ensure that no one is indeed left behind, in relation to having access to quality and affordable healthcare services.
Dr. Matshidiso Moeti underscored the need for stakeholders to work in a comprehensive and inclusive manner to scale up coverage of health insurance schemes in Africa.
She is convinced that adequate health financing could lead to reducing Out-of-Pocket Payments for services covered by health insurance schemes.
The regional conference was sponsored by Ghana's Ministry of Health, NHIS Ghana, World Health Organization (WHO), 75Health for All, Margins Group, Roche, PharmAccess Foundation, Oesterreichische StaatsDruckerei (OSD), National Insurance Commission (NIC), DocuPro, Apex Health Insurance, Nationwide Medical Insurance and Metropolitan Health Insurance.
Source: ABDUL KARIM NAATOGMAH