President John Mahama has declared that the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS “is growing from strength to strength,” and assured that “government will always support the scheme so it continues to be one of the best in Africa.”
The President made the remarks when he commissioned the new regional office of the National Health Insurance Authority, NHIA in Bolgatanga in the Upper East region on Tuesday. He also commissioned the Brong Ahafo regional office in Sunyani the following day.
The two projects, according to the NHIA, are to provide a more congenial environment for staff of the Authority to work and effectively interface with subscribers, service providers and other stakeholders.
Commissioning the Bolgatanga regional office, President Mahama observed that the newly built office complex would help the administration “to build a scheme that is more responsive to the challenges of the health insurance regime.” He was hopeful that the new offices “will improve the administration [of the scheme] in the region.”
The President, at the Sunyani event, said “government is committed to supporting the scheme to make it grow from strength to strength.”
Chief Executive of the NHIA, Sylvester A. Mensah speaking at the ceremony, noted that, all over the world, one cardinal criterion for measuring progress and success of any social health insurance is utilization. He pointed out that utilization of healthcare services under the NHIS has increased enormously [between 2009 and 2011], accentuating the growing effectiveness of the scheme.
In underscoring the importance of building regional offices for the NHIA, the Chief Executive stated that the gesture is to ensure greater financial efficiency in running the scheme. According to him, the NHIA pays huge sums of money yearly as rent for its offices. He said as the volume of work increases, the cost of renting office space keeps rising, making the Authority’s investment a prudent one.
Mr Mensah urged scheme officers and staff in the region to work at fostering trust between the scheme and subscribers, since according to him, “trust is the basic molding block for an efficient health insurance scheme.”
He also praised scheme workers in the region for their hardwork and encouraged them to do more. “We are satisfied with your performance but I know you can do better,” he stated.
The ultra-modern office facilities in the two regions have ample space for claims management, clinical audit, ICT amongst other key functions, crucial to running a viable social health insurance.