Dr Lydia Selby-Djane, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), has expressed her surprise at news that the Authority is unable to pay service providers. She thus, stressed that the Scheme does not owe service providers up to a year of arrears for services rendered to members on the scheme.
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NHIA, the Scheme for now, only owes service providers including private health facilities from September 2021 to December 2021, summing up to not more than GH¢360 million.
“I will therefore, be surprised if a service provider says we owe them up to a year or from 2017 arrears or that their processes and payments have unduly delayed. So if they have facts to defend their case, they should pass through our right channels and email addresses, and we will investigate and address that.”Dr Lydia Selby-Djane
Dr Lydia Selby-Djane disclosed the current status of the NHIS in an engagement with the media in Accra on the back of reports that the Authority was turned away by Parliament when they appeared to account and make claims for the next payment. She also addressed reports that Private Health Facilities Association of Ghana threatened to withdraw its services partially to NHIS members because of long-standing arrears.
Speaking on the packages of the NHIS, the CEO said it has added family planning and child cancers to the packages covered, explaining that childhood cancers are 90 per cent curable unlike adult ones, bringing the total cure rate for cancers in Ghana at 35 per cent.
Linking of NHIS and Ghana Card
Dr Selby-Djane, on linking the National Identification Card (Ghana Card) to the NHIS Card, stated that universal health coverage is about leaving no one behind, saying that, “the more the health system and NHIS have data on those enrolled, the more they could design strategies to bring healthcare to the doorstep of everyone.”
The CEO moreover, cautioned men to desist from the attitude of not being interested in going to the hospital to enhance their life span. She went on to explain why women live longer than men.
“You wait until the situation is critical and we all wear black and go and sit somewhere and say gone too soon. Once we link your NHIS to the Ghana Card, we know who you are. Our data has shown that men of between 30 and 60 years old refuse to return to the hospital once they are diagnosed of high blood pressure and sugar levels… Somehow, when women are told to come back for medication, they do so without any hesitation. That is why women have a long life expectancy, because they are more responsible.
“Hernia is part of the surgeries covered under the NHIS. So, our men, if you have hernias, and you walk around with it, it will come to a time you cannot walk again. Right from the beginning, just get it done and be free.”Dr Lydia Selby-Djane
Dr Selby-Djane also cautioned that non-communicable diseases have no signs or symptoms until it gets too late. She said, “They are silent killers, so let’s be health conscious, because we are tired of the gone too soon notices we’ve been seeing every time.”
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), established by the Government of Ghana in 2003, provides equitable access and financial coverage for basic health care services to Ghanaian citizens.