The Good news from Sunyani NHIS

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The Sunyani Municipal Health Insurance has been able to increase the number of providers credentialed by the NHIA to 43 and still counting, despite challenges of delay in payment of claims

Mr. Patrick Kuagbenu, the Sunyani District Manager of NHIS said in terms of performance, the District office placed third (3rd) in membership registration, out of 161 district offices in the country.

He said the Sunyani NHIS office would not relent on its effort, as it is constantly reviewing its operations and introducing new innovations and technology that would drastically reduce operational costs.

Mr. Kuagbenu, who was speaking at the Sunyani NHIS stakeholders’ forum, disclosed that much of the scheme’s membership registration process is paperless and the savings for a month due to the innovation at the District office is GHC4, 800.

Also, he indicated that the Sunyani NHIS has introduced technology in its revenue collection through an electronic receipting process, which according to him, is faster and makes accounting so transparent and reliable.

In terms of operations, the District Manager disclosed that the scheme has spread its operations to 3 additional centres, which are the Sunyani Municipal Hospital, Sunyani Technical University and Abesim Health Center, which all have been in operation until this year, when the scheme had some challenges with its consumables and IT equipment.

According to Mr. Kuagbenu, consequently the Scheme processes ID Cards from the District Office only and it processes over 400 cards daily.

However, he said an area of difficulty, which is worthy of discussion at the forum, was with the requirements for the Free Maternal Care Policy of Government of Ghana.

He highlighted some of the difficulties with the Free Maternal Care Policy as the continuous engagement by some Diagnostic service providers in outreach services and the improper safeguarding of Laboratory and Ultrasound request forms by facilities, which gives room for fraud in that area.

The Sunyani NHIS Manager bemoans on the lack of indication by some service providers on their sign boards that they are NHIA credentialed for clients to have easy notification and accessibility.

Also he expressed concern about the issue of some facilities operating without the requisite professional staff and yet take tariffs for higher level, explaining that clinic with a Doctor’s tariff is higher than s clinic with a Physician Assistant.

He commended the service providers for remaining committed to subscribers who are not bothered whether or not the NHIA owes providers, saying “The NHIA without services providers and subscribers would not have legs to stand on, hence the reason the stakeholders’ forum has become integral to the scheme existence.

Source: Michael Boateng || The Chronicle, Sunyani

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