The Center for Democratic Development (CDD), has warned that vulnerable persons may return to paying cash for medical care if innovative means of financing the public health service is not adopted.
A survey by CDD indicates that donor funding, which represents 70 to 80 percent of preventive and public health services, has dwindled over the years.
Meanwhile, a large section of Ghanaians have opposed proposals to increase the National Health Insurance levy by 1 percent.
The CDD is therefore advocating for prudent financial mobilization and expenditure to save the healthcare system in Ghana.
A Research Fellow with the CDD, Dr. Kojo Asante, voiced these concerns to Citi News on the sidelines of a round-table discussion on resource allocation and utilization in Accra.
“The whole reason why we had the NHIS was to move from cash and carry but once you have the NHIS struggling to pay its service providers, then they have to pay out of the pocket and the trend is that, for a period, we were seeing an increase in out of pocket payments because the NHIS was under such dire stress.”
“We have to find a solution to making the NHIS work if we want to be able to provide healthcare, and that is why it is critical that it has to be replaced and maintained. We need to look at the amount we put into it,” he said.
Health insurance service providers have notably been complained about arrears owed by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).
The Health Insurance Service Providers Association of Ghana in February 2018 threatened to return to the cash and carry system if arrears owed its members by the NHIA were not paid.
The Association said most of its members were owed about 20 months of claims.
Collaborating with private sector
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Private Health Insurance Association, Ronald Oppong Adom, believes the mutual collaboration between the public health sector and his outfit will augur well for the National Health Insurance Scheme.
He argued that though the 12 registered private insurance companies in Ghana only have 200,000 registered Ghanaians, it generates revenue of about GHc 200,000 million hence its importance.
“For the 200,000 and more that we are seeking to bring into our fold, once we collect a premium, the person is automatically covered on the NHIS for primary health care and we will in turn, take up the secondary and tertiary healthcare costs.”
Cash-and-carry CDD Ghana NHIS Delali Adogla-Bessa