The management of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has insisted that the current claims being paid to the scheme by beneficiaries are too small.
According to them, the GH¢110 paid annually as claims by the people, which is equivalent to US$ 25, is far below the US$86 global figure that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had sanctioned for primary healthcare.
The NHIA has consequently appealed passionately to government to increase the VAT component of the NHIS from 2.5 percent to at least 3.5 percent or four percent so that the authority would have the needed funds to manage the NHIS properly.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NHIA, Dr Samuel Yaw Annor, made the appeal during an NHIS forum held in Kumasi under the theme: ‘NHIS Financial Sustainability, A Collective Responsibility’.
According to him, the financial component of the NHIS has become outmoded after it was introduced over 12 years ago, stressing the need for the financial module to be reviewed so that adjustments would be made to make it efficient.
Dr Yaw Annor stated that whilst some countries in southern Africa are paying as high as US$700 annually for primary healthcare, Ghanaians are just paying very little, which negatively affects the delivery of the NHIS.
He urged government to, as a matter of urgency, consider taxing products which can cause non-communicable diseases so that the money raised could be put directly into the NHIA levy.
The NHIA boss also appealed to government to implement mechanisms that would make it possible for funds that are generated from the country’s oil production to be put directly into the NHIA levy to help boost healthcare delivery.
Dr Yaw Annor also suggested that workers should allow for one percent of their monthly salaries to be deducted and put into the NHIA levy, stressing that health is wealth; therefore, the citizenry should support the NHIS to thrive.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi