President Nana Akufo-Addo’s advisor on Health at the Presidency and former Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare got it all wrong as usual, by claiming that Ghanaians already enjoy free primary health care under the NHIS!
Technically, in theory, and in practice, a premium paying Health Insurance scheme is significantly different from a Free Health Care Policy or Plan. Countries have had to choose between a Free Health Care Policy and a National or Social Health Insurance Scheme/Policy. Usually, Free Primary Health Care has very limited or no preconditions for accessing healthcare.
To say that Ghanaians are already enjoying Free PHC when annual premium payment is required as a condition for accessing health care is not only dishonest but a mockery of the theory and practice of Health Insurance and its underlining Principles of cross-subsidization and solidarity!
Come again Doctor!
As the leader and flagbearer of the NDC, John Dramani Mahama indicated this week, the next NDC government shall implement a Free Primary Health Care Plan which will make the provision of primary health care to all Ghanaians, young and elderly, free. Under the proposed Free Primary Health Care Plan, Premium Payment is eliminated entirely. It will be a hybrid system where Primary Health Care (PHC) shall be free for all Ghanaians.
We believe this will bring great relief to many families across the nation.
[Please Note: President Mahama will throw more light on this promise during the NDC’s Policy Dialogue Series that will begin soon]
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The author is a Finance Professional and a Health Insurance Technocrat. He is also a Former Chief Executive Officer of the NHIA and a senior Lecturer at the UPSA.