President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is passionate about integrating mental health coverage into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Benefit Package, according to the NHIA Chief Executive, Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye.
Dr. Okoe-Boye made the announcement during a working visit to the Western North Region. He said that plans are far advanced to offset the cost of mental health treatment and make it more affordable for individuals suffering from that disease condition.
Dr. Okoe-Boye also addressed the issue of copayments, which are illegal payments that some healthcare providers collect from NHIS members at the point of need. He said that there has been a dramatic improvement in claims payments to credentialed healthcare service providers, and that this means that there is no longer any excuse for providers to collect copayments.
“Presently, we make monthly payments to service providers whose claims have been vetted and approved,” he said. “On July 31st, we paid an additional GH₵186 million to our hardworking credentialed healthcare providers, reducing the previous piled-up debt to just one month.”
Dr. Okoe-Boye also spoke about the expansion of the NHIS Benefit Package. “The Benefit Package has successfully been expanded over the years,” he said.
“We have recently added the Free Elderly Healthcare policy for people 70 years and above, the four commonest childhood cancers, and a very expensive drug called Herceptin for breast cancer treatment.”
The Western North Regional Minister, Mr. Joojo Rocky Obeng, commended Dr. Okoe-Boye’s administration for transforming the NHIS.
In a related development, Dr. Okoe-Boye paid homage to the Omanhene of Sefwi Wiawso Traditional Council, Katakyie Kwasi Bumagama II, where he called for collective efforts to sustain the NHIS.
“We have a duty to ensure that the NHIS is enlarged, made robust, and sustainable,” he said. “Everybody should get on board, and together we can sustain the NHIS.”
Katakyie Kwasi Bumagama II praised the NHIA Chief Executive’s transformational leadership. He urged Dr. Okoe-Boye’s administration to keep doing its best, which he noted would not go unnoticed.
The NHIA’s ultimate goal is to fully drive the national agenda of attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by the year 2030. The Authority has taken initiatives and accomplished the same in the light of contributing to the overall growth and development of the Ghanaian economy.