The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has dismissed 31 of its officers and interdicted 41 others for alleged financial malpractices and mismanagement. Disciplinary measures are also being taken against 60 other officials, following a financial audit conducted into the operations of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Already, the NHIA has recovered GH¢18 million which had previously been mismanaged, following an internal auditing mechanism put in place to check malpractices. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Sylvester Mensah, who made this known at the end of a stakeholders forum organised by NHIA in Accra, said the NHIA had engaged 20 private auditors who were helping to ensure that funds were properly accounted for under the scheme. The forum, on the theme "Building stakeholder consensus towards quality and sustainability", brought together stakeholders from the health sector, parliamentarians and international development partners. Mr Mensah said the scheme presently had 145 outlets in the country and was working to adjust upwards its tariffs from, July 1, 2011. The Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Elias Sori, said although the scheme still had some challenges to address, the NHIA needed to be commended for the work that it had done so far. He said the NHIS, which was a social health care intervention, primarily aimed at addressing the health needs of the poor in society, should be supported by all to work and succeed. The Country Representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Daniel Kertez, on behalf of all international partners, also commended managers of the scheme for their successes so far. He said both bilateral and multilateral partners in the country were ready to help ensure that the success achieved so far was sustained. Dr Kertez said he was impressed with the way the scheme was being handled, especially how it had managed to overcome the numerous challenges that it was facing since its inception. He, however, expressed concern about the financial sustainability of the scheme, which was aimed at protecting the poor by giving them better health care. A Deputy Minister of Information; Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, gave assurance of the government's commitment to ensuring that the scheme was a success. He underscored the need to improve the living conditions of people across the country, especially access to health care, as that was the only way to ensure that the scheme's success was sustained.
Source: Daily Graphic