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Meet the Press – MOH re-strategises to attain Universal Health Coverage

The Ministry of Health (MOH) says it has redesigned and reviewed its current health architecture to adopt a people centred approach to attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

This would ensure that all Ghanaians have timely access to high quality health services, irrespective of their location or ability to pay at the point of use.

Similarly, it has revamped the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to enable it to improve upon the quality of service delivery in all public health facilities.

Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the Minister of Health, who made this known at the Meet-the-Press series in Accra on Thursday, said the key strategy to achieving financial access in healthcare was the NHIS.

Consequently, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) was in a position to effect an increase in service tariffs by 20 per cent, which took effect from April 1, 2019.

He said by the close of June this 2019, claims arrears of sub district facilities and below would have all been paid fully to enhance the achievement of the UHC.

Mr Agyeman-Manu explained that the Government had from 2017 to date, paid a total claims repayments amounting to over 2.2 billion to the NHIS.

The NHIA, he said, had rolled out a number of Electronic programmes such as the E-receipting for services provided to clients, and the E-renewal of cards.

“The E-receipting was being rolled out in 43 district offices and preparations were also being made to expand it nationally, but monitoring reports had already indicated tremendous improvement in premium collection and accountability, with revenue increasing by 33 per cent in the first six regions, which involved the Central, Western, Eastern, Volta and Oti regions,” he said.

He noted that the introduction of the E-receipting on the other hand had led to complete transformation of the NHIS enrolment process, and cited some of the benefits as increased renewal numbers within four months of its implementation.

Mr Agyeman-Manu said the current revenue accrued from the E-Renewal constituted 41 per cent of the 2019 first quarter collections from registration (Premium and Processing fees).

He said the clinical auditing of the system had been strengthened resulting in the recovery of GH¢28.4 million for overbilling of claims.

The Health Minister said the country had made significant successes in the management of the high burden of diseases such as Cholera, Meningitis, Tuberculosis, HIV, Malaria and Non-Communicable Diseases.

“The quality of governance structures had been strengthened to coordinate the implementation of all initiatives in the health sector,” he said.

Due to those interventions the national immunization coverage had improved over the years with 97.47 per cent coverage for 2018, he said, adding that all childhood vaccine requirements for 2019 had also been secured with the assurance that there would be no shortages of vaccines.

Mr Agyeman-Manu said Ghana had not reported any case of Polio since 2008, neither has she documented any Measles associated death since 2003, with a reduction in diarrhoea since the introduction of the rotavirus vaccine in 2012.

“There has also not been any meningitis outbreak this year 2019 and near elimination of yellow fever. There was no cholera outbreak from 2017 to date,” he said.

The Minister said the Meningitis “Epidemic” belt was extending southwards.

“Our epidemic preparedness plan takes this into consideration, and no case of meningitis attributable to Meningococcal A bacterium has been detected after Meningococcal A conjugate campaign in 2012.”

Mr Agyeman-Manu said the Government had secured financial clearance to facilitate the recruitment of more than 54,000 healthcare workers who had not been employed since 2012.These financial clearances covers both public and private graduates whose recruitment were outstanding from 2012 to 2016.

He said his Ministry had also launched an electronic platform to facilitate the recruitment and placement of staff at health facilities.

Commenting on the restored allowances for nurses in the various Health Training Institutions, the Minister said a total of 57,000 trainees were benefiting from the restoration exercise at a cost of GH¢22,800,000.00 per month.

“A hundred per cent of total commitment amounting to GH¢210.8 million for 2017-2018 academic year has been paid, the Government has also paid the first seven months of 2018/2019 academic year, while 57.8 million warrant has been released for the payment of the rest of the month,” he said.

The Health Minister expressed the hope that the recruited healthcare workers would help boost healthcare delivery in the country.


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