From William Nlanjerbor JALULAH, Bolgatanga .
THE PUSIGA District Office of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has been adjudged the overall Best Performing District in the Upper East Regional for 2018. Pusiga beat eight other districts and municipal offices of the scheme in the region.
At the 2018 End of Year Performance Review Meeting in Bolgatanga, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in the Upper East Region has on the occasion of the 2018 End of Year Performance Review Meeting, adjudged Pusiga District as the overall Best Performing District office in the region.
Garu-Tempani and Bolgatanga schemes occupied 2nd and 3rd places respectively, while Bawku Municipal scheme was ranked the worse performing scheme.
Builsa District Scheme came 7th whilst Talensi-Nabdam, Bawku-West and Bongo came 6th, 5th and 4th respectively.
For their exceptional performance, Garu-Tempani was additionally adjudged the Most Responsive Scheme, as well as the Most Improved District Office, with Biyam Banabas, the District Manager, singularly awarded for his outstanding performance.
Explaining the credibility of the performance ranking, Regional Director of NHIA, Sebastian Alagpulinsa, said the ranking was done using standard indicators that combined the general output of various district offices into compact scores and benchmarks.
Some major criteria in the computation of the scores, according to Mr. Alagpulinsa included premium mobilization, membership performance, indigent registration and stakeholder engagement. Other areas were monthly reporting and district office management meetings.
Underscoring the importance of the district schemes, the director said the efficiency in the work of district offices is crucial for attaining a robust NHIS.
He explained that the review meeting served as a platform for the NHIA and its stakeholders in the region to review their operations for the past year, identify operational gaps and best practices that will enable the authority to work towards realising its ultimate agenda of achieving Universal Health Coverage by 2030.
Touching on the performance of the authority in the region for the year under review, Mr. Alagpulinsa said “the authority through its major initiatives such as the mobile renewal system coupled with strong commitment on the part of our staff covered 54% of the regional population and 94% of the regional target.”
The region achieved 87% of our premium target for 2018 and out of the 9 operational district offices of the authority in the region, four districts – Bolgatanga, Bongo, Garu- Tempani and Pusiga – have exceeded their premium targets; with none of the districts attaining less than 65% of their premium targets for the year under review.”
According to Mr. Alagpulinsa, management was anticipating that with the mobile renewal solution, the authority can generate an additional GH₵ 100 million, which could further help improve revenue and bridge the funding gap that confronts the authority.
He also mentioned that the Authority was currently piloting family planning in three districts in the Upper East Region; namely Bolgatanga, Nabdam and Bawku- West.
It is anticipated that after a successful pilot, family planning services would be added to the NHIS benefit package.
“This clearly can impact on the demography of families, income levels and the general quality of life of households,” the regional director indicated.
In a speech read on her behalf, the Upper East Regional Minister, Paulina Patience Abayage, noted that Ghana as a country has barely a decade to the end of the agenda 2030 for sustainable development, hence the need for all to vigorously pursue paths aimed at universal health coverage.
“In the face of limited resources, the only way that the NHIS can be sustained to achieve universal health coverage is through innovation, innovative thinking, innovative strategies and innovative implementation of policies,” she said.
The Upper East Regional Director- Ghana Health Services (GHS), Dr. Winfred Ofosu emphasised the need for a continuous healthy collaboration between the NHIA and GHS, saying the non performance of one adversely affected the other.
The 2018 End of Year Performance Review Meeting was on the theme: ‘The path to universal health coverage in Ghana, Innovating for a sustainable NHIS.”