18 Years Of Existence: NHIS Financial Sustainability Increases From 20 To 35 per cent
Dr Lydia Dsane-Selby has noted that a sustainability test conducted by her office revealed that, currently, the scheme is sustainable but is faced with these three major challenges some of which measures have been put in place by the Ministry of Health to address.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr Lydia Dsane-Selby, has stated categorically that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is financially sustainable of eighteen (18) years of its formation in Ghana by the former President John Agyekum Kufour.
According to her, the scheme financial sustainability has increased from 20 to 35 per cent, saying that since the establishment of the scheme, there have been remarkable improvements in the quality of healthcare service delivery by providers of the scheme.
But she was quick to state that the financial sustainability of the scheme would be under serious threat if measures are not put in place to check the timely release of funds by the Ministry of Finance, rising medicine prices and anticipated slow growth of the economy.
According to her, some urgent steps need to be taken collectively to mitigate and strengthen the scheme to help achieve the expected outcome.
She noted that a sustainability test conducted by her office revealed that, currently, the scheme is sustainable but is faced with these three major challenges some of which measures have been put in place by the Ministry of Health to address.
Speaking in a one-on-one interview with GH-One TV currently to give an update to Ghanaians on the current state of affairs of Ghana's healthcare system on the scheme, Dr Dsane-Selby asserted that the management of the scheme have just built an actuarial model, putting in various scenarios to see how financially sustainable the scheme are.
"I can tell you that most of the scenarios say we are financially sustainable. I think it is about how we implement our own policies. There are some key factors that may affect sustainability.
"One is obviously the timely release of funds from the ministry of finance. Also, to make sure that the country’s economic growth is on the rise because the National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) is tied to how the economy is doing. Another key factor is the rate of increase in medicine prices.
"When we put in three or four scenarios and realized that if medicine prices continue to escalate at the level they are now, then the scheme is not sustainable; this is something we have to address.
"A costing exercise has been done for services which are ready to be disseminated. The Ministry of Health has also introduced a framework for contracting in a bid to halt the rapid escalation of medicine prices.
"I understand from the WHO we have some of the highest medicine prices in the world and some of the highest escalation of medicine prices and if we don’t address it, the scheme is really not sustainable," she stated.
Dr Lydia Dsane-Selby warned that " if tomorrow we decide to put everyone on every medicine in the world on the scheme it would collapse."
She added that "It is about using evidence to do what the country needs and what impact the greatest numbers of people and do it in the step wide function.
According to her, Ghana NHIS largely depends on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), saying that as the country's GDP rises the scheme has more money.
Freeman Koryekpor Awlesu Greater Accra Regional Correspondent