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Accreditation of health facilities engaged in co-payments to be revoked - Dr Okoe-Boye

BY: Gilbert Mawuli Agbey
Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye — CEO of the NHIA
Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye — CEO of the NHIA

Health facilities engaged in co-payment, that is, charging active members of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for services rendered, will lose their accreditation, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye, has said.

"I am announcing confidently that very soon the accreditation of health facilities which additionally charge active NHIS patients with impunity will be revoked," he added.

According to him, it was worrying that some patients still complained about making payments after visiting hospitals, although they were active members of the scheme.

Dr Okoe-Boye announced this when he, together with the board and the management of the NHIA, paid a courtesy call on the Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, in Bolgatanga to interact with key stakeholders and staff of the authority.

The team also paid a courtesy call on the Paramount Chief of the Paga Traditional Area, the Paga-Pio, Pe Charles Awiah Awampaga II.

Co-payment committees

Dr Okoe-Boye said the NHIA had set up co-payment committees to engage with the management of health facilities to find out the rationale for sometimes charging patients who were active members of the scheme.

"The committees exist in all districts and their mandate also includes engaging with patients to find out their experiences when they visit health facilities," he added.

According to him, that had become necessary because the authority was committed to removing all financial and other bottlenecks that created barriers to patients’ quest to access healthcare services in the country.

The CEO also attributed the delay in the payment of claims partly to the fact that "some of the tariffs are high and unrealistic".

According to him, the NHIA annually injected GH¢1.5m into the health sector, adding: "An average of GH¢120m is paid to each health facility every month across the nation."

"So we are pumping so much into the health sector on a monthly basis and, therefore, we demand that patients who visit the hospitals should be taken care of," he said.

Advice

Dr Okoe-Boye advised the citizenry to show interest in the NHIS by enrolling onto it for their own benefit, saying: "It is better for you to be active members of the scheme than to live in the country without any form of health insurance."

He further called on them to support the initiative for it to become an ideal health insurance scheme, adding: "Our vision is to ensure that every citizen who visits a health facility with any form of sickness will not pay anything to receive treatment."

The CEO lauded the staff of the scheme for their hard work, dedication and commitment to ensure that the NHIS was sustained.

For his part, Mr Yakubu urged the NHIA to provide accreditation for more private health facilities, since majority of the people could not afford the ‘cash-and-carry’ system.

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