By Godfred A. Polkuu,
Bolgatanga, Aug. 7, GNA – The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in the Upper East Region, on Tuesday reviewed its mid-year performance to enable the Authority take stock of its activities and strategize towards the ultimate goal and vision of government in achieving Universal Health Coverage by 2030.
The review meeting brought together Regional and District Managers of the Authority across the Region, officials from the Ghana Health Service, the Ghana Education Service, the Department of Social Welfare and other stakeholders including the media.
Mr Sabastian Alagpulinsa, the Upper East Regional Director of the NHIA, at the opening of the two-day meeting said it was imperative for the Authority to evaluate its performance and discuss how to retain its achievements so far, and find solutions to their shortcomings.
He disclosed that out of the second quarter membership target of 369,368, the Authority had registered 295,358 representing 80 percent, and 72,374 against an indigent target of 38,210 representing 189 percent.
“The mobile renewal solution is also well patronized in the Region and out of the target of 98,460 to be enrolled via the mobile renewal system, 107, 363 members renewed their cards using the system, representing 109 percent.”
This, according to Mr Alagpulinsa had rejuvenated people’s confidence in the insurance scheme, and noted that “we are performing well regarding our revenue indicator. For example, we have mobilized GH?2,988,814.00 out of the second quarter target of GH?2,994,905.00 roughly representing 100 percent for the period under review.”
He indicated that this massive drive at the membership front would lead the Authority to achieve UHC which undoubtedly was a critical indicator for poverty reduction and greater productivity, with benefits to provide financial risk protection and achieve equity in health care delivery in the country.
The Regional Director said through effective management, and the instrumentality of the Chief Executive Officer, Dr Baaba Dsane Selby, all hospitals had been reimbursed up to August, and all Health Centres and Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds had equally been reimbursed their claims up to October 2018.
He said management was working to ensure that all claims owed to service providers were paid up to date, adding that resourcing of the Districts and Regional offices had improved with timely release of funds and supply of new computers to ensure smooth implementation of all planned activities for the year.
Mr Alagpulinsa said the Region within the period received three new vehicles from the Authority which were shared among the Bolgatanga Municipal, Bawku West District and the Regional office to facilitate activities of the Authority.
He said in spite of management’s efforts to ensure smooth administration of the Authority, it was confronted with challenges such as low registration of school feeding pupils in the Region, delay in reimbursing providers claims, illegal copayments among others.
“There are also some network limitations, ignorance on the part of some of our people in handling the mobile renewal processes, inadequate motorbikes to be able to access difficult to reach communities and the lack of some critical staff, especially Management Information System officers in some district offices.
Dr Winfred Ofosu, the Upper East Regional Director of Health Services, noted that towards the last quarter of 2018, the Authority did well in terms of reimbursement.
“In fact some of us thought that this trend was going to continue when we entered 2019. Unfortunately that is not what we are seeing.”
He said it was good to know that reimbursements to some facilities were made up to October 2018, and called on the Authority to ensure that arrears owed service providers were settled to enable them render quality health care services.