Citi News Room, October 27, 2021
Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) International, Accra, an international think tank, has launched its 2020 Diagnostic Research Report.
The report, titled ‘Making the National Health Insurance Scheme Work for the People’ was executed in collaboration with the Open Society Initiatives for West Africa (OSIWA), and supported by the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health.
Launched at the Coconut Groove Regency Hotel in Accra on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, the report is aimed at advocating and influencing policymakers and other relevant stakeholders to strengthen the health outcomes and welfare of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) subscribers.
Mr. Appiah Kusi Adomako, West African Regional Director, CUTS, in delivering the report disclosed that both qualitative and quantitative approaches were used in the exercise.
According to him, the interviewees were spoken to in five out of the 16 regions of the country. These are the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Central, Eastern, and Northern Regions.
Amongst a number of recommendations, the report recommended to the NHIA to establish customer complaint centers.
“Furthermore, the study showed that the provider [NHIA] practically does not have an established customer complaint or recourse policy written down for customers to follow. Although there are avenues where customers can channel their grievances, most customers are not aware of them.”
“For that reason, a significant number of customers have not utilized the existing redress mechanism. Moreover, the study found that providers do not mainly conduct a customer needs assessment to determine the scheme’s gap from reaching its desired goals.”
It also recommended to the government to increase funding to the Authority to curb the out-of-pocket payment situation which has characterized the scheme.
“The impact can be better felt if the challenges preventing the NHIS from delivering on its mandate to subscribers are keenly addressed.”
“In light of this, the study recommends increased funding, better monitoring, and evaluation processes, developing a clear-cut strategy and procedure mechanisms, a continued reduction in out-of-pocket payment, expanding coverage of the scheme, and conducting a regular needs assessment to ensure that subscribers’ healthcare needs are being met.”
About CUTS International
CUTS Accra was established to pursue CUTS Vision of ‘Consumer Sovereignty’ in the West African region.
It has been envisaged to function as a resource center for research, analysis, advocacy, and capacity-building activities in the region in partnership with local state and non-state actors.
CUTS has and will continue to work closely with member states of the ECOWAS.
CUTS Accra aims at facilitating a close and beneficial relationship between CSOs and like-minded organizations in Ghana and elsewhere in the developing world to promote South-South cooperation, especially in areas of trade and development, competition issues, consumer protection, and good governance.