Mahama theorises on “new” NHIS funding without offering options Featured

Former President John Dramani Mahama says the next National Democratic Congress (NDC) government will propose a new source of funding for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

According to the NDC flagbearer, the current capping and realignment law is not helping matters because the scheme’s monies are taken away, and this makes it difficult for its mandate to be fulfilled.

Very typical of him, however, John Mahama failed to propose options on funding plans and sources.

Having kicked against the introduction of the NHIS by the Kufuor regime, the NDC, during the 2008 electioneering campaign, promised to introduce a one-time premium payment if it won the elections.

John Mahama and the NDC, however, failed to redeem that pledge after Ghanaians had given them the mandate to govern the country.

Available records indicate that the scheme was on the verge of complete collapse at the time they were exiting office in 2017.

The Akufo-Addo government inherited a colossal debt of GH¢1.2 billion from the Mahama administration. The government has successfully cleared this legacy debt.

“The health insurance, as it was designed, was to cover a period of ten years. We have gone far past that number of years and the subscriber base has increased phenomenally and the funding sources have become insufficient to sustain the health insurance, and so looking at new sources of funding for health insurance will be important,” he told a gathering of executives of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) in Accra on Monday.

Lamentations

The former president accused the Nana Akufo-Addo administration of abandoning several health projects across the country, and assured the Association that he is committed to aggressively completing them, if given the nod again as president, in order to ensure Ghanaians have better access to health care.

“We talked about operationalising projects that have been completed but are standing idle like the University of Ghana Medical Centre, the Bank Hospital, the Wa Hospital and several other projects that have been commissioned, but are still not operationalized,” he stated.

Human resource distribution

On the distribution of medical personnel across the country, Mr Mahama said the situation is appalling as the doctor to patient ratio in some parts of the country is “abysmal.”

He also stressed the need for private participation in the health sector to help in expanding medical care, saying the government alone cannot provide health care for all by 2030, as stated in the SDG Goal 3.

Apolitical

The president of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr Frank Ankobea, said the meeting with the former president and the NDC team was a “fruitful and encouraging.”

“We probably would have to meet some groups of the NDC and then still go down to some other health policies that they have,” he said.

The GMA president said the meeting was “apolitical”, as discussions were centered on the health of the Ghanaian.

The NDC, which has a traditional policy of non-inclusivity in terms of its governance philosophy since 1992, has recently been embarking on what it calls “ongoing interactive project”.








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