Sly Mensah Tells New Year School
The former Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah, has said that despite the negative reportage on the Scheme in the last couple of weeks, Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) remains a leading global model and a centre for international knowledge and experience sharing.
He maintained that, the NHIA was considered a leading agency under the Ministry of Health (MoH) in terms of performance and systems.
“What has attracted the attention of international players in Health Insurance industry is the Schemes management approach, structure, strategy and systems”.
He was speaking as at the 67th Annual New Year School at the University of Ghana last Wednesday under the theme – “Promoting Universal Health for Sustainable Development in Ghana and the role of ICT”.
Mr. Mensah, was invited as a resource person to speak specifically on Ghana’s NHIS model and the transition from MDGs to SDGs and ICT Efficiency.
He advised academia to endeavour to help the debate on performance by making comparative analysis and assessment of Ghana’s NHIS with other countries in both developed and developing countries to come up with a comprehensive understanding of a Universal Financial Risk Protection against Health Care delivery.
He took his audience through Ghana’s NHIS model, funding strategy, trends in utilization and active membership, as well as the scheme’s focus under the Sustainable Development Goals.
According to the former Chief Executive, the NHIA, has the largest ICT infrastructure in the country presently with a wide deployment of ICT for improved efficiency.
Mr Mensah, listed a number of ICT applications such as Membership Registration, Nation-wide Instant issuance of bio-ID cards with authentication devices which are yet to be deployed in all health facilities nation-wide, Claims and E- Claims applications, Call Centre services, Voice and data communication platform linking schemes and providers.
The NHIA, also has a free internal communication system within the authority, Data Centre, and a data recovery site, among others.
To this extent, the ex-NHIA boss, believes the NHIA is a leader in ICT deployment, but still has a lot of miles to cover, adding that the greatest threat to the scheme is its inherent sustainability challenge.
He also affirmed that, the scheme has systems to address issues of demand and supply side moral hazards.
He, however, concluded that government is undertaking a comprehensive review of the scheme to restructure its benefit package, exemption regime, as well as other equity considerations to redefine what to purchase, and for whom in relation to available funding in the medium to long term.