NHIA to integrate mental health into NHIS coverage

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr Benard Okoe Boye says President Akufo-Addo is passionate about integrating mental health coverage into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Benefit Package.

Plans, according to him are, therefore, advanced to offset the cost of mental health treatment and make it more affordable for individuals suffering from the condition.

Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye was addressing the Western North Regional Minister, as part of his working visit to the region.

He said there was dramatic improvement in Claims Payments to credentialed healthcare service providers, for which reason they have no excuse collecting illegal monies (Copayments) from NHIS members at the point of need.

“Presently, we make monthly payments to Service Providers whose Claims have been vetted and approved. On July 31st, 2023 we paid additional GHS186 million to our hardworking credentialed Healthcare Providers, reducing the previously piled up debt just to one month.

Western North regional office of NHIA

“As a result of the rapid Claims Payments, we launched a platform known as the ‘Sunshine Policy’, to deepen accountability, transparency and social auditing. Since its launch, suppliers of drugs to healthcare facilities and other stakeholders are able to log onto the NHIS website with privileged access to view payments made to deserving facilities.

“The Benefit Package has successfully been expanded over the years. We have recently added the Free Elderly Healthcare policy for people 70 years and above, the four commonest childhood cancers and a very expensive drug called Herceptin, for breast cancer treatment.”

The Western North Regional Minister, Mr. Joojo Rocky Obeng commended Dr. Okoe Boye’s administration for transforming the NHIS.

In a related development, Dr. Okoe Boye paid homage to the Omanhene of Sefwi Wiawso Traditional Council, Katakyie Kwasi Bumagama II, where he called for collective efforts to sustain the NHIS.

“We have a duty to ensure that the NHIS is enlarged, made robust and sustainable. Everybody should get on board and together we can sustain the NHIS,” he said.

Katakyie Kwasi Bumagama II, on his part, praised the NHIA Chief Executive’s transformational leadership.

He urged Dr. Okoe Boye’s administration to keep doing its best, which he noted would not go unnoticed.

Projects inauguration 

Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye on August 2, 2023 inaugurated two newly built projects in the Western North Region.

These are the Western North Regional and Sefwi Wiawso National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) office complexes.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Western North Regional office, Dr. Okoe Boye thanked NHIS staff in the region for achieving 80 percent of their set targets of the scheme’s active membership.

He encouraged them to go the extra mile and attain 100 percent, in line with the national agenda of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

He said the expansion of NHIS infrastructure demonstrated government’s resolve to make the scheme accessible to all. He commended the Regional Coordinating Council and traditional leaders for their continued support in government’s quest to transform the lives of the people.

According to Dr. Okoe Boye, government’s performance in all sectors of the economy, particularly the health sector, is unprecedented.

He encouraged everyone to sign up for the NHIS and gain from the expanded Benefit Package, which includes the four commonest childhood cancers and the free elderly healthcare care for people, 70 and above.

The Western North Regional Minister, Mr. Joojo Rocky Obeng hailed the ‘New NHIS’ and underscored the need to sustain it.

NHIS Funds capping

A former Minister of Health, under whose watch the NHIS was initiated, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie bemoaned the politicisation of health matters, particularly the NHIS.

He lamented the negative impact of the capping of the National Health Insurance Fund and said it was depriving the NHIA of the required funds.

According Dr. Afriyie, the state of healthcare in the country required adequate financing, and insisted that starving the NHIS of adequate Funds is a misplaced priority.

Staff get-together

At a staff get-together, Dr. Okoe Boye interacted with drivers and district managers and promised to address key issues bothering their operations to enhance service delivery.

He thanked the staff for their dedication to duty and tasked them to remain committed and hardworking in increasing the NHIS active membership.

It was an opportunity for the frontline staff to meet face-to-face with their Chief Executive, who is concerned about staff welfare.

Dr. Okoe Boye met the Municipal Chief Executive for the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal Assembly, Paul Andoh and also addressed NHIS staff in the district.

The NHIA Chief Executive’s visit to the Western North Region climaxed his working visits to all the 16 regions. The NHIA ultimate goal is to fully drive the national agenda of attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by the year 2030.

The Authority has taken initiatives and accomplished same in the light of contributing to the overall growth and development of the Ghanaian economy.

By Abdul Karim Naatogmah


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