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MP lauds Parliament for approving Promotive Health Care check in NHIA Formula

MP lauds Parliament for approving Promotive Health Care check in NHIA Formula

By Edzorna Francis Mensah

The Member of Daffiama/Bussie/Issa in the Upper West Region, Dr Sebastian Ngmenenso Sandaare has welcomed the introduction of promotive Health Care also known as a ‘wellness package’ by the National Health Insurance Authority to encourage Ghanaians to undergo regular health checks without paying directly.

The new public policy initiative which formed parts of policy proposals approved by the Committee of the Whole of Parliament seeks to allow subscribers of the National Health Insurance Scheme to undergo basic vital checks on their birthdays.

According to the MP, Ghanaians deserve better when it comes to primary health care and that, ‘‘the initiative when implemented will go a long way to yield a positive result’’ by Goal 3 of Sustainable Goals to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

The health wellness package which is an initiative of the Chief Executive Officer as noted by the Committee is designed to offer NHIS members access to essential health assessments, which will potentially include vital checks such as blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and others and the authority has cost it GH¢3 million and funds has been allocated for the exercise accordingly.

The report says, ‘‘This effort aims to promote preventive healthcare measures and empower NHIS beneficiaries to monitor their health status regularly’’. The Committee, however, requested the policy direction and the process that will be used during the introduction of the initiative.
On the Biometric ID Cards & Authentication System, the Committee noted that the NHIA plans to purchase three million Ghana Cards for GH245.70 million (unit cost of GH81.90) for all children aged 6 to 14 years.

On whether procuring Ghana cards for children is a mandate of the Authority, the NHIA stated that they have the mandate to provide NHIA Cards for the children, however, instead of procuring NHIA cards, they intend to enrol the children on Ghana Cards.

The Authority informed the Committee that children in this age group currently do not have Ghana Cards and as such printing Ghana Cards instead of NHIS Cards for them will in the long run save cost on data integration with the NIA and extend their card’s validity to ten years.

The Authority asserts that they can produce the cards once funds are allocated. The Committee acknowledged the potential cost saving this initiative may bring and recommended a periodic progress report be submitted to it before the mid-year budget review to adjust the allocation of the NHIA to continue with the initiative.

The Committee, having thoroughly examined the Distribution Formula for the National Health Insurance Fund for the year 2024, believes that the Formula has allocated fairly the resources across the various levels of health in line with the Government’s objective to deliver accessible and affordable health care to all Ghanaians.

The House at the plenary adopted the report and approved the sum of Six Billion Eight Hundred and Seventy-Two Million, Three Hundred and Forty Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH€6,872,340,000.00) for the year 2024 in line with the Distribution Formula to enable the NHIA to undertake its activities earmarked for the year.

Parliament approved the report subject to the establishment of a committee to probe and interrogate funds and activities of the Authority.

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