Sylvester Mensah, CEO of the NHIA

THE CHIEF Executive Officer (CEO) for the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) caused quite a stir at Fox Fm in Kumasi on Monday morning when he walked out of the studio in the middle of a discussion.

Sylvester Mensah, who was invited by the station to respond to a press statement released by a group called the Asante Development Union (ADU) against the ongoing capitation policy in the Ashanti region, lost his temper and left the studio whilst the discussion was still in progress.

In a fit of anger, Mr. Mensah said on air that he could not sit on the same platform with the ADU leadership to discuss matters concerning the capitation policy because the group had no credibility.  

“Who are these people, I do not know them and as far as I am concerned, they have no authority to engage me on matters of the capitation policy, so I am sorry,” he said before walking out.   

Though Captain Smart, the host of the programme dubbed ‘Fox Morning Drive’ drew Mr. Mensah’s attention to the fact that the group had raised serious concerns about the policy in its statement which required a response from him, the CEO refused to participate in the discussion. 

In view of this, the public was denied the opportunity to be educated further on the policy which has caused considerable confusion in the region where it is being operated on a pilot basis.

It is not surprising that people who called into the programme gave Mr. Mensah a verbal bashing for his behavior, stressing that even if the group was not credible, he ought to have listened to their concerns.

Mr. Mensah recently incurred the wrath of private health providers in the region when he told them at a stakeholders’ meeting that they could go to hell because no matter the prevailing challenges, the capitation policy would be implemented.

ADU, a pressure group in the region held a press conference a week ago to register its displeasure about the pilot capitation programme and called for its immediate withdrawal.

According to the group, since the policy was introduced in the region, health care delivery there had suffered a major setback due to implementation challenges facing the policy.

It argued that the Ashanti region with a population of over 5 million and a 30 percent NHIS subscriber base was not the best place to begin the pilot programme.  

From Morgan Owusu, Kumasi

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