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NHIS will survive under me - Health Minister-designate
From: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Dorcas Efe Mensah          Published On: February 8, 2013, 15:16 GMT
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Health Minister-designate Sherry Ayitey has promised to ensure the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) does not collapse in spite of the gloomy predictions.

That she said she will do by strengthening the scheme to deliver quality healthcare services to Ghanaians.

She said the scheme was a good system of care which if well managed will enhance access to quality health and bridge the gap between rural and urban health delivery.

A World Bank report released last year said the scheme could go bankrupt “as early as 2013.” But its Chief Executive Sylvester Mensah vehemently denied the claims, saying the NHIS was on a strong footing.

Appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament Friday, Mrs Aryitey said certain operational inefficiencies in the NHIS had left huge unpaid claims to providers - a situation she said had posed great danger to the survival of the Scheme.

She was confident that once those inefficiencies were corrected, the scheme would work effectively.

The minister-designate said she would explore alternative ways of financing the NHIS and encourage the institutionalisation of a better financial system to ensure prompt payment of claims.

She also pledged to ensure the establishment of more district and regional hospitals.

If approved to head the health ministry, Mr Aryitey stressed she would demand of health workers “good governance, efficiency, effectiveness and accountability” in the management of the resources provided by government.

She also indicated she would establish a cordial relationship with the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) based on trust and facilitate regular interaction between the GMA, the Fair Wages Commission and the National Labour Commission (NLC).

On the issue of delayed salary payments, she said: “I will take the matter up personally with the Ministry of Finance to resolve it so that those who enter medical service will receive their salaries on time.”

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