Dr. Dacosta Aboagye, Government COVID-19 team
Dr. Dacosta Aboagye,

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has projected that Ghana will achieve universal health coverage before 2030.

According to the Chief Executive of the NHIA, Dr. Da-Costa Aboagye, innovative and robust measures are being implemented, including a new preventive healthcare initiative.

This initiative will soon be included in the NHIS claim package, allowing every Ghanaian on the scheme to visit the hospital for a medical check-up on their birthday.

Speaking to the media in Koforidua on Monday, Dr. Aboagye explained that this approach aims to reduce the financial burden on clients and the country.

“To achieve universal health coverage, you see there are things you need to do. So far, over our 20-year history, the NHIS 20 years history, it has been curative. So curative means that you get sick before you go to the hospital. But we believe that with the rise of the noncommunicable diseases, hypertension for example, hypertension contributes a lot of our claims, diabetes.”

“So we want to reduce the cost burden of the curative services. By doing that, you introduce what we call a preventive approach, so annual health check for every Ghanaian. So you detect the diseases early. Not only that, you also make sure by doing that, you increase life expectancy and, you reduce the cost burden on the patient in the whole country.”

“The modalities are being worked out, and I’m sure very soon, preventive health care will become part of our claim benefit package in such a way that on your month of birth, you’ll get a notification from the NHIA that goes to the nearest health facility and check your basic vitals. The vitals, obviously, your sugar levels, your, BP, your body weight, and all those things will be included…Reforms are taking place, and I’m hoping that it will all come to the benefit of all Ghanaians,” Dr. Aboagye stated.

Dr. Da-Costa Aboagye also expressed concern about co-payments at various health facilities, highlighting the need for immediate action.

“Co-payments are a big issue, and we need to address it head-on. We need to address it by our systems, and we also need to address it from the provider’s point of view. Now if you look at our systems, okay, the government e-pharmacy platform offers us the best solution out of this co-payment.

“Because now when you go to the hospital facilities, they tell you that some of the medicines are not there. But it’s very difficult for our clients to understand the packages we provide in terms of the medicines because they are not experts.”

“So by this, what we are doing is we put the responsibility on the pharmacies to make sure that they upload their prescriptions on the e-pharmacy platforms because of the property addressing system. So it can be delivered to their local pharmacies or the patients can go to the various, local pharmacies and collect it.

“So once we also review the tariffs and give the pharma companies and the facilities the accurate tariffs, we will seek parliamentary approval for what we call the automatic price adjustment so that we have what we call the national tariff review committee that will look at the economic conditions and review the tariffs as we go along.”

“In this case, we from the NHIS will be fulfilling our part, and we will now put the burden on the facilities to fulfil their part. Then we use the systems to check in terms of the e-pharmacy platform to make sure that patients are not being charged for the services that are being paid for by the NHIS,” Dr. Aboagye concluded.