Vice- President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has inaugurated a 17-member Board for the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) with a call on the members to use their expertise and experience to rescue and resuscitate the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
“We have got to save and resuscitate the NHIS,” he said, adding, “You have got to put your minds and efforts into service so that together with government, we work to rescue and resuscitate the scheme.”
The board has Professor Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, a nominee of the President, as the Chairman.
The members are Dr Sylvester Yaw Oppong , Madam Joyce Zimpare, both of whom are government representatives; Dr Samuel Yaw Annor, the Chief Executive Officer of the NHIA; Mr Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu, representing the Ministry of Health and Dr Dennis Addo, from the Department of Social Welfare.
Others are Ms Lydia Lariba Bawa, the National Insurance Commissioner; Mr Kwasi Ampadu-Kissi, representing the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Dr Isaac Charles Noble Morrison, representing the Medical and Dental Council; Professor Christian Agyare, a representative from the Pharmacy Profession and Mr Kwasi Asante from the Accountancy profession.
The rest are Ms Abena Osei-Asare from the Ministry of Finance, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, from the Ghana Health Service, Madam Anna Pearl Akiwumi-Siriboe, a legal practitioner; Dr Nicholas Ankomah Tweneboa and Vahandi-Naa Dr Mohammed Nantogmah Mahama, both health professionals and Rev. Richard Kwasi Yeboah, representing organised labour .
Cash and carry
Dr Bawumia congratulated the new board and charged them to work hard to prevent the NHIS from its current steady crawl towards a cash and carry regime, adding “this is the task the President is giving to this board.”
He reminded them that the scheme had faced significant challenges in recent times and urged them to ensure that the NHIS was better managed to deliver improved healthcare services.
The nation and future generations of Ghanaians were looking up to the board, he said, adding “ you cannot afford to disappoint them.”
Judicious use of resources
He said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had a clear vision for healthcare stressing that the government would ensure that the resource envelope was made available and was properly spent for the benefit of patients.
“Indeed, there is so much we want to do within the limited budget,” Dr Bawumia said.
He reminded the board members of the responsibility to chart a policy direction that would recommend the decisions the government must take to improve the NHIS.
Dr Bawumia stressed that the board members had been carefully selected based on their expertise and urged them to endeavour to live up to the task so that the President’s vision would be realised.
Pledge to execute task
Prof. Adu-Gyamfi, on behalf of the board members, thanked President Akufo-Addo for the trust reposed in them and pledged that they would work to help the President realise his vision.
“We promise not to disappoint the nation,” he assured, adding that members of the board were aware of the daunting challenges confronting the NHIA, citing arrears in reimbursement, huge funding gaps, poor claim management, high administrative costs and the need to revise the organisational structure.
“Your Excellency, though the task is daunting as you alluded to, my colleagues and I will work assiduously with management, including other stakeholders as well as with the media, to resolve the challenges,” he assured.
He was hopeful that through collective effort and resolve, the vision of universal health insurance coverage with adequate funding would be realised.
Source: Daily Graphic