NHIA earmarks GH₵25m for district offices

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has set aside GH₵25m to put up district offices across the country before end of the year.

NHIA district offices are for the purpose of decentralising operations to enable easy access to the services rendered by the Authority, and for that matter health care, a Parliamentary report on the Proposed Formula for Disbursement of the NHIF for 2018 has revealed.

The Authority intends completing about ten of its district offices and commencing the construction of an additional five.

“A total of 15 district offices are therefore expected to be commissioned for use by the end of 2018 and an amount of GH₵25m has been proposed by the Authority in that respect,” the report indicated.

The absence of NHIA offices in some of the districts was of serious concern to Parliament’s Committee of the Whole.

The Committee recommended that the NHIA make an effort to set-up district offices in the districts across the country to enable the Authority better serve the needs of citizenry and other residents.

“The NHIA must also endeavour to address the issue of poor working conditions at the district offices and resource them well to deliver good quality, reliable, effective and efficient services,” the report noted.

NHIA expects to receive a total amount of GH₵2.3bn in 2018 from the National Health Insurance Levy/SSNIT and other sources, to be able to execute its mandate for the year.

The Authority expects to receive a total interest income of GH₵15m based on an expected portfolio size of GH₵85million at a projected return of 18.5 percent.

Proceeds from processing fees from both the formal and informal sectors are projected at GH₵64m.The estimate represents an average fee of GH₵6.11 per member for a projected membership of 10,517,577 from both sectors in 2018. The projected membership excludes the pregnant women and indigent categories.

Furthermore, the report also revealed that in the 2017 Formula for disbursement of the National Health Insurance Fund, there was a funding gap of GH₵379.68m – contributing to the myriad challenges of NHIA, including threats by service providers to withdraw services.

Additionally, the report indicated that the active membership coverage of the Scheme in 2017 stood at 37 percent, with the country’s population of 28 million in that year. The NHIA has estimated covering 42 percent of the projected population of 29 million in 2018.