Gov't Working On Bailout For NHIS

The government is working out a strategy for a bailout of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), which is currently having challenges in paying claims from health facilities.

The scheme owes over GH¢460 million and the government is working hard to ensure that the debt is paid.

The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Victor Asare Bampoe, made this known in Accra yesterday at a universal health policy coverage dialogue organised by the Centre for Universal Health Coverage (CUHC), at the University of Professional Studies.

Sustainability of NHIS

The dialogue, which was on the theme, “NHIS Sustainability: Resolving the funding gap conundrum”, brought together stakeholders to deliberate on the way forward for the NHIS.

Dr Bampoe said while the government worked out a strategy for the bailout, it would also take a second look at the scheme and redesign it, to ensure its sustainability.

He said the scheme had come to stay and, therefore, there was the need for all stakeholders to come up with suggestions for its sustainability.

He expressed satisfaction with the depth of bipartisanship exhibited during the discussions, noting that it was an indication of the commitment of all to get the issue resolved and promised that all the issues that had been raised by the panellists would be considered by the government.

Suggestions by panel

The panel members had agreed that the scheme was facing serious challenges and called for measures and a new design system that would make it robust.

They also agreed that the government could not continue with the old system of funding the NHIS and stressed the need for a funding strategy for the scheme.

They said there was no need for a blame game, instead it was time for all stakeholders to take a critical look at the challenges associated with the scheme and help resolve them to bring relief to NHIS subscribers.

A former Minister of Health, Dr Richard Anane, who was one of the panellists, blamed the problem facing the NHIS partly on the management of the capitation system.

He said the capitation itself was good but the way it was managed had caused the current problems and called for a national steering committee to take a second look at the system.