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NHIS faces criticism over limited coverage for citizens

By: Pascaline Sacker

The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in Ghana is to provide access and financial cover to healthcare services for citizens in the country. Most citizens complain about the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) due to its ineffectiveness in recent times when they visit public hospitals for medical care as well as other private health facilities that accept the NHIS card.

Patients from far places come to receive medical care at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, which is the nation’s biggest referral health centre.

The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) which strives to provide financial risk protection to citizens by its introduction is rather preventing individuals from accessing essential medical care in most health centers across the country. It has become costly even with a valid National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card. This becomes a burden for most patients who do not have money to pay the bills.
Just in the second month of the year, some citizens already have National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards expired awaiting renewal while others are yet to enroll onto the scheme.

Madam Cecilia Borden, a mother in the central region, faced a distressing situation when her son was hit by a car. Despite rushing him to the Effia Nkwanta Hospital in the Western Region, the severity of his injuries was urgent and required a transfer to Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. Unfortunately, Madam Cecilia discovered that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) did not cover a significant portion of her son’s required medication, leading to unexpected financial strain.

Miss Belinda Quaye, like Cecilia, is a mother seeking medical care for her sick daughter at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

Miss Belinda faced disappointment as she discovered that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) did not cover the majority of the prescribed medications for her daughter at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

These difficulties are not peculiar to only Madam Cecilia and Miss Belinda, other patients across different sections of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital experience financial challenges, either being asked to pay additional bills for medical services rendered them or pay for medications that the scheme does not cover.

Many citizens have realized the National Health Insurance Scheme does not cover essential services with coverage becoming more restrictive than expected, it is high time policy makers and the government review the NHIS to benefit the very vulnerable in our societies since social interventions such as the National Health Insurance Scheme is expected to touch the lives of the poor and not aggravate their woes.
Source: Adoanews.com

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