President Akufo-Addo has once again given his word on ensuring that the country’s healthcare system is revamped to meet the health needs of Ghanaians.
Speaking to the nation in his first State of The Nation Address, President Akufo-Addo said his government would revamp the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to widen access to basic healthcare.
“The National Health Insurance Scheme remains the best option we have devised to ensure that as many people as possible have access to health care in our clinics and hospitals,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo, however, stated that the scheme was not in a good state, especially when it owed too many providers money for their services to the most vulnerable in society.
The NHIS has come under criticism for its debts to providers, a situation which has been precipitated by the inability of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to release funds to the authority for onward payment to service providers.
“They are threatening to opt out and stop offering their services,” he added.
A few weeks ago, about seven providers threatened to halt their services to NHIS card holders due to non-reimbursement of funds by the NHIA. They claim the NHIA owed them services from May to October 2016.
President Akufo-Addo, thus, reassured that the NPP administration would restore the National Health Insurance Scheme to good health.
He Akufo-Addo also mentioned that his government would strengthen the health workforce, starting with the restoration of the allowance of trainee nurses which was scrapped by his predecessor.
“And yes the Ministry of Finance will restore the allowance of trainee nurses in the budget,” he observed.
Last year, the NDC government scrapped the allowance of some 34,500 trainee nurses in the country, triggering an outcry by the students whose predecessors were already facing employment challenges.
The government was, thus, forced by the public outcry of its action to mitigate the situation by paying them some money in the roundup to the elections.
The NPP government assured during the elections campaign that the allowance would be restored, and the president reaffirmed this in the address to the nation.