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NHIS subscribers enrolled onto capitation payment system

More than two million subscribers of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) have been enrolled onto the capitation payment system in four regions since its inception in 2010.

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) started a pilot project with the capitation payment system in Ashanti Region in 2010, and had since enrolled 1. 8 million subscribers.

Volta, Upper East and Upper West Regions were later added to the project, and had so far enrolled about 800,000 subscribers in the three regions.

The capitation payment system allowed the NHIA to advance part payments to accredited health service providers, and gave options to NHIS subscribers to select their preferred service providers and change them after every six months.

The move is aimed at ensuring quality healthcare delivery to all NHIS subscribers, and prevents healthcare providers from giving any excuse on the basis of non-payment of services rendered.

Mr. Anthony Gingong, the Director in charge of Service Providers Payment at the NHIA, told the media when he led a delegation to pay a courtesy call on the Deputy Western Regional Minister, Mr. Alfred Ekow Gyan, in Sekondi on Tuesday.

The visit was to formally inform the Regional Coordination Council (RCC) and its stakeholders about its intention to roll out the capitation payment system in the Western Region after being piloted in Ashanti, Volta, Upper East and Upper West Regions over the past four years.

He disclosed that the NHIA paid GH¢ 2.3 million every month to 432 accredited health service providers in the Ashanti Region alone, and that had improved the quality of healthcare delivery in that region.

Mr. Gingong noted that the capitation was the best alternative payment mechanism that would sustain the NHIS, and enable service providers to be relieved from financial constraints, adding, “this will enable healthcare providers to always have money with them to take care of subscribers.”

“The capitation payment system will also help us to rationalize the use of drugs by NHIS subscribers, prevent abuse and have proper medical records of all subscribers,” he pointed out.

He disclosed that regional and district steering committees would be set up to facilitate the smooth implementation of the capitation system in the region, adding that all relevant stakeholders, including traditional authorities, staff of the Assemblies, National Commission for Civic Education, Ghana Health Service, youth groups, and the local communities, would be involved in the consultation and sensitization processes, in order to solicit their ideas towards ensuring the successful roll-out of the policy.

He urged the RCC to play a supervisory role to ensure that the capitation payment system was duly decentralized to benefit the people.

Mr. Gyan, Deputy Western Regional Minister, observed that the NHIS had increased the life expectancy of Ghanaians, in view of the provision of quality healthcare services.

He gave the assurance that the Regional Co-ordinating Council would deepen the governance process by supervising and co-ordinating activities to ensure the implementation of the policy in the region.

Credit: GNA