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The Bono-Ahafo Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Timothy Letsa, has stated that although the NHIS Law makes room for a three months delay in the payment of claims to Health Providers, the current situation where claims are in areas of over six months does not augur well for quality healthcare delivery in facilities across the Region.  He has therefore called on the NHIA to do all within its power to improve the situation and have a positive impact on quality healthcare delivery in the Country.  Dr. Letsa said this when he made some remarks at the ongoing two day 2014 Annual Performance Review Meeting of the Bono-Ahafo National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in Sunyani. The 2014 Performance Review Meeting, was under the theme; “Eleven years of NHIS implementation in the Bono-Ahafo Region, successes, challenges and the way forward”.  It comes at a time when the NHIS is the focus of much attention with key stakeholders like Clients and Health Providers having serious misgivings about the operation of the Schemes.  In attendance were most of the Managers and some staff of the 21 Schemes in Bono-Ahafo as well as Officials of the Regional Office of the NHIA.  Also i. Attendance were Representatives of the Ghana Health Service as well Reps of individual Health Providers among others.  The Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Timothy Letsa, noted that 95 percent of the internally generated funds of health facilities are from the NHIS, thus the delays in reimbursements does not bode well for quality healthcare delivery due to its ability to cripple the operations of healthcare providers.  The gathering, the Deputy Bono-Ahafo Regional Minister, Justice Samuel Agyei, noted that the advent of the NHIS has brought in its wake organizational and service management challenges to hospitals and other provider facilities.  He mentioned delays in cash flow from the NHIS, lack of capacity to procure essential drugs and other consumables and inadequate logistics among others.
He therefore charged the NHIA to use the performance review meeting to find solutions to the constraints that impact the scheme and the health delivery system in general.  In a welcome address earlier, the Acting Regional Director of the NHIA, Sebastian Alagpulinsa, revealed that Membership of the Scheme in the Region grew by 61percent to just over One Million, 500 thousand Clients.  He also disclosed that the Authority has paid claims up to July 2014, adding up to a little over 44 Million Ghana Cedis to Health Providers. The Acting NHIS Boss, identified lack of proper understanding of the NHIA Tariff Regime and the Medicines List by Staff of the Health Providers as a major cause of the creation of undue cost to the scheme or making health facilities to suffer huge clinical audit deductions due to non-compliance with the tariff structure.  Mr. Alagpulinsa consequently called for dialogue between the Scheme and stakeholders for a greater understanding of how the scheme operates.  He admitted that it has not been easy for the NHIA to reimburse Providers but that should not be used to justify the re-introduction of cash and Cary or copayment by Clients.  The Acting Regional NHIA Boss, admitted that the delays in payment are not helping matters but was quick to reassure health providers that frantic efforts are being made to clear all claims arrears.  The occasion was used to recognize best performing schemes as identified under a point system created under the MPRO in collaboration with the Regions.  The Tano South Scheme emerged the best in Bono-Ahafo and second at the National level.  The Kintampo North Municipality’s Scheme came second and third at the National Level, while the Sunyani Municipal Scheme took the third best position in Bono-Ahafo.  They were all given certificates for their achievements.
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