There are fresh calls for government to pay attention to funding sources of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to make it more efficient.
This call comes at a time Ghana’s health care system is recovering from the shocks of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Senior lecturer at the Department of Public Administration and Health Services Management, University of Ghana Business School, Dr. Gordon Abekah-Nkrumah speaking at a post-election policy dialogue warned against drawing funds from the Covid tax recently introduced by government.
“The current government as part of its manifesto has indicated that it will want to restructure the National Health Insurance. I think the first issue that we need to look at is really working on the finances, in terms of increasing our finances.
“I see this 1% COVID tax in the right direction but it will not be the best to make it or label it COVID Tax. I will argue that this should be made National Health Insurance Levy. It would have been an increase of the existing 2.5 per cent so that it brings additional money that goes into the National Health Insurance,” he said.
Dr. Gordon Abekah-Nkrumah also raised issues against the government’s agenda 111 which is aimed at establishing district and regional hospitals across the country.
Health Minister, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament during his vetting earlier this year stated that the government intends to construct 111 district hospitals across the country.
Mr Agyeman-Manu said each of the hospitals was estimated to cost between $5 and $7m and in total cost $707 million.
He said even though the President mentioned in one of his speeches to the nation that the government planned to put up 88 hospitals, the number had increased to 111 to make room for additions, including hospitals for the six new regions that had no regional hospitals and other places that were left out at the initial count.
But Professor Abekah-Nkrumah said “The question should be whether we need agenda 111 in its entirety. I will say may be, No. May be, it should be a phased approach. Let us look at those areas that need infrastructural growth and begin to work on that so that we have some sort of leverage in terms of our finances to be able to work on our health insurance. I don’t think we need every one of the agenda 111 right now.”
By Evelyn Tengmaa|3news.com|Ghana