Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has indicated that President Akufo-Addo-led government was committed to improving the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to guarantee access to quality healthcare service by active NHIS card holders.
He said it was the desire of the government to ensure that no person was denied access to quality healthcare services in the country on financial grounds.
The NHIA CEO stated that the government was also working to settle NHIS claims for the health facilities to provide the needed care to the NHIA clients including the availability of drugs at the facility.
Dr Okoe-Boye said this in Wa on Thursday when he paid a courtesy call on Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister, to begin a three-day working visit to the region.
The visit was to have a personal appreciation of the challenges confronting the Authority in the region and to assess the progress of work on the construction of NHIA offices in Issa in the Daffiama-Bussie-Issa District and Lawra in the Lawra Municipality.
The CEO was also expected to interact with the NHIA staff at the Nadowli-Kaleo District and Nandom Municipality and to assess the service delivery at the Upper West Regional Hospital.
Dr Okoe-Boye explained that the government was currently within the internationally acceptable threshold of 90 days in the payment of the NHIS claims to registered health facilities providing the NHIS services.
“I am happy to announce that currently as we speak, we are processing February 2023 payment so that we can pay to hospitals.
“Now that we have done this what we expect from the facilities is to do the best for our clients and once that happens it becomes easier to tell people to get registered onto the scheme,” he said.
He said the government was not relenting in its efforts at expanding the NHIS benefit package for the clients.
The NHIA CEO said currently, childhood cancers and medication for breast cancer had been added to the NHIA benefit package while the treatment for persons with mental health disorders would be put on the scheme.
Dr Okoe-Boye said they were targeting to register at least 20 million Ghanaians onto the NHIS by the end of December 2023.
On his part, Dr Salih commended the NHIA in the region for attaining Universal Health Coverage in the NHIS membership registration.
He identified the inadequate number of NHIA staff and logistics such as vehicles as some challenges facing the Authority and appealed to the CEO to take steps to resolve them to help enhance the membership drive that the Authority sought to achieve.
He assured the leadership of the NHIA of his utmost support in the delivery of their services for the good of the people in the region.