The Paramount Chief of the Tugla Traditional Area, Tugla Naa Andani Mohammed has called on the government to increase the funding for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to ensure its sustainability.
He observed that the present level of the financing to the NHIS is woefully inadequate. He made this call at the northern Regional Public Stakeholder Forum organised by the Ministry Of Information in collaboration with the National Health Insurance Authority in Tamale.
The purpose of the meeting was to create a platform for stakeholders to discuss and find solutions to the financial challenges facing the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
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Addressing participants at the program, Tugla Naa Andani Mohammed, who was the chair for the occasion declared his support for any proposal that calls for an increase in funding and appealed to the government to make it a priority in resolving the financial problems facing the scheme.
The revered Chief said, ‘It will be suicidal to supervise the death of the National Health Insurance Scheme.
Let’s ensure that we never return to Cash and Carry. All of us as citizens of this country regardless of our political affiliation should support the scheme to grow.”
He suggested that “It is proper for all Ghanaians to prioritise health as the most important thing to aspire. Let’s all ensure its survival.”
“It is critical that leaders of organised labour be brought on board and be convinced to support the NHIA reforms fully. We should all be ambassadors of the scheme and see it grow,” he said.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of National Health Insurance Authority Dr Samuel Annor called on all major stakeholders to support NHIA’s proposals to increase funding for the scheme which includes an increase in the VAT component of the NHIL from its current 2.5% to 3.5%.
He also suggested levy on sugar, alcohol, tobacco to fund the scheme and an allocation of the oil revenue into the NHIF to enable it to become financially sustainable to run efficiently.
Dr Samuel Annor together with some Directors of the NHIA also paid a courtesy call on the Chief of Tamale; Dapkemah Naa Mohammed Alhassan Dawuni at his Palace in Tamale.
The Dapkemah Naa was grateful for the visit and rallied his support to the course of finding solutions to the financial woes of the scheme.
The Chief of Tamale Dapkemah, Naa Mohammed Alhassan Dawuni, added, “The work of the NHIS is essential to us all, especially the people of Tamale who rely a lot on the services of the scheme.
We are delighted that the CEO of the NHIA, Dr Annor and his Management have found time to come all the way here to see how the scheme is faring.
This gesture is a sign of good leadership, and we are in full support of the new proposals you are undertaking to make the scheme stronger and more sustainable.”
The NHIS team later extended their visit to the Gulkpe Traditional Council where they were received by the Gulkpe Naa Alhassan Abdulai, Paramount Chief of the Gulkpe to court his support for the campaign of finding financial solutions to the scheme.
The Gulkpe Naa was appreciative of the visit and assured of his peoples’ support in ensuring that the NHIS scheme remains sustainable.
“My people and I are in full support of NHIS reforms and the financial sustainability proposals, for we believe that what you are doing is God’s work.”