The reviewed document which was received by Mr Alex Segbefia, the Minister of Health, contains key recommendations by the Committee based upon their extensive review of the NHIS.

The seven-member Committee which was inaugurated by President John Dramani Mahama last year, was to work within the context of the Scheme’s, sustainability, accountability, transparency and user satisfaction.

Dr Chris Atim, the Chairman of the Independent Technical Review Committee, said after a critical review and in consultation with key stakeholders, come out with three major recommendations, which among other things, calls for the redesigning and restructuring of the Scheme with a focus on the country’s primary health care system.

He said the country is now paying dearly for the non-performances in her primary health care system as it failed to factor in preventive health care from the onset which, was the resultant of the currently high record of preventable illnesses.

He said the Committee recommended that maternal and child health be given high priority under the NHIS, as what pertains currently could be described as a scandal for the country, especially with respect to the high mortality and morbidity rate among these group.

He also said there must be a critical focus on ensuring efficiency, through good governance and ensuring that the voice of users were considered.

Dr Atim said in view of this the Committee recommended for the institution of a Patient Protection Council, as a coordinating body under the Ministry of Health, to represent patients and also coordinate set priorities, ensure transparency and accountability.

Mr Segbefia, expressed gratitude to the members of the Committee for availing themselves to the service of their country and also for working hard towards their mandate to address NHIS’s current challenges so that it would be able to confront the future with confidence.

He said government is committed to the success of the NHIS, adding that far from negative perceptions that the Scheme is dying, it has rather been growing year-on-year with an impressive results, and has become even more popular in the international scene.

“However, like any endeavour of life, growth comes with challenges. The NHIS has had its challenges in the 13 years of its existence,” he said.

The Minister acknowledged that while most of the challenges have been designed problems, others have been operational, and assured the Committee that he would forward the reviewed document to the President for onward action.

Source: GNA/News Ghana

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