Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Minister of Health on Tuesday, inaugurated a 17-Member Governing Board of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), with a call on them to address the shortcomings of the scheme to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
The Board, chaired by Dr Ernest K.P. Kwarko, an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and a Health Officer at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, also had Dr Lydia Dsana-Selby, Chief Executive Officer of NHIA; Mr Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari from the Ministry of Health; Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General of the Ghana Health Service and Dr Justice Ofori, Member, National Insurance Commission as members.
Others are; Mrs Elizabeth Aggrey-Ampiah, Member, Social Security and National Insurance Trust; Dr Isaac Charles Noble Morrison, Member of the Medical and Dental Profession; Professor Christian Agyare, Member of the Pharmacy Profession; Mr Kwasi Asante, Member, Accountancy or Finance Profession and Mr Samuel Erickson Abakah, a Legal Practitioner.
The rest are; Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, a former Deputy Minister of Health and a health professional; Dr Sylvester Yaw Oppong, Health Professional, Odeneho Akosua Frema Dwabeng II and Madam Joyce Konokie Zempare, both from the National Health Insurance Scheme and pending members from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Social Welfare and a member of Organized Labour.
Addressing Members of the Board, Mr Agyemang-Manu said even though the scheme had made considerable strides since its inception, there was the need for more commitment from implementers to improve service delivery in the country.
He said it was unfortunate that after several years of implementation of the scheme, it had not been able to enroll all Ghanaians on to it, to minimize the burden on beneficiaries.
The scheme as at 2019 had an active membership of over 12 million out of more than 30 million total population.
Mr Agyemang-Manu, therefore, urged the Board to immediately commence the registration of new members to ensure that more Ghanaians benefited from the scheme for the attainment of Universal Health Coverage.
The Health Minister tasked the Board to further ensure the efficient management of the Scheme’s fund adding that, there should be a timely release of funds to service providers, to improve service delivery to clients.
“We still have hospitals who demand that clients pay before accessing healthcare even though they possess NHIS cards and so we need to address these issues by releasing funds on time to these hospitals,” he noted.
While encouraging the Board to work in tandem with the management of the Authority, ensure it achieved the mandated objectives, Mr Agyemang-Manu cautioned them against interfering with the work of the management that would hamper the growth of the Authority.
The Chairman of the Board assured the Minister of their commitment to address challenges the scheme faced, to improve on service delivery.
The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) was established under the National Health Insurance Act 2003, Act 650 in 2003.