The Outgoing Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah has implored staff of the Authority and other stakeholders to accord his successor the same level of support provided him.
Mr. Mensah made the comments at an official durbar of the Authority on Friday, organized for him to bid farewell to the management and staff of the NHIA and to formally introduce his successor.
Sylvester Mensah was appointed the head of the National Health Insurance Authority in 2009 for an initial 5 year term but had his appointment extended for another year after it expired last year.
Speaking at the farewell durbar, Mr. Mensah thanked God for his mercies and guidance over the six years he had been with the Authority. The outgoing Chief Executive Officer then thanked the staff and all stakeholders of the Authority for the support they had provided him in his tenure as boss of the Authority.
“In my work over the last six years, I am human, I may have certainly stepped on some toes. All I want to say is that if you happened to be one of those, whose feet I stepped on, please know that it wasn’t my intention. Again, I want to say that I have had a very happy six years, working with all the staff in the Authority”, he added
Sylvester Mensah then implored the Staff of the Authority to accord Mr. Nathaniel Otoo, his successor who until now served as a Deputy Chief Executive, their fullest support to carry on with the vision of the Authority. He noted that Mr. Otoo had been extremely useful to him in his time as Chief Executive and affirmed his confidence in the abilities of the new head of the Authority.
Mr. Otoo on his part described his feeling on the issue of Sylvester Mensah’s departure and his new role as mixed as the outgoing Chief Executive had done a lot for the Authority. He however indicated that he understood the situation since Mr. Mensah has to leave for bigger responsibilities in the service of the nation.
Mr. Otoo stated that though the responsibility being handed to him is heavy, he is confident that with the support of the Staff, the Authority will continue the good work initiated by Mr. Mensah.
The new boss of the Authority assured Sylvester Mensah that the Authority under the new leadership will do everything possible to uphold the achievements of the NHIA under his leadership and work to enhance the Scheme. The NHIS in the last six years has grown to become Ghana’s biggest public sector organization and a model of health financing in the third world and beyond. This feat has been evidenced by the many foreign study visits the NHIA receives from countries both in Africa and other parts of the world.
The confidence of people in the scheme has led to an increase in the number of subscribers and utilization of services on account of the NHIS. These indicators have led to a funding gap the managers of the scheme and government are tackling resulting in delays in claims reimbursements to service providers.
Mr Mensah leaves behind an impressive record of infrastructural development for the Scheme which operated from rented premises when he took over in 2009, to one which operates from its own offices at the national and regional levels. He is also succeeded by a number of sweeping reforms which have positioned the Scheme as one of the best in the third world.
Mr Mensah pioneered many initiatives such as the Clinical Audit system, and provider payment reforms. He also led the creation of a national health insurance scheme from the district mutual system which was fraught with many administrative and efficiency challenges.
It is not clear where he is headed but insiders say he has been penciled down for movement up the promotional ladder. He is an author, a former banker, legislator, university lecturer and strategic management person.
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