The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) today debunked the findings of the non-governmental humanitarian organisation, Oxfam International that the National Health Insurance Scheme on health care delivery in Ghana is unfair.
Briefing the Press on Thursday morning, the Chief Executive of the NHIA, Mr Sylvester A. Mensah stated emphatically that the report that was put forward by Oxfam was full of flaws.
Mr Mensah pointed out that the research methodology the organisation used to arrive at the conclusion of their report was totally flawed and further explained that the report did not describe the type of study that was taken neither did it state the sample size and the type of sampling adopted by study.
“Since the document was filled with factual inaccuracies, the NHIA had to come out to respond. Oxfam did not state the type of study they carried out. To make matters worse, the figures they used in their study also did not come from us,” Mr Mensah emphasised.
Oxfam’s report concluded that as at 31st December, 2009, the NHIS health delivery could be accessible to as low as 18 per cent with those excluded still paying user fees in the “cash and carry” system.
Mr Mensah noted that the mathematical formula used by the organisation to arrive at the membership data for the NHIS and health service utilisation by members was flawed.
“Indeed, until 2008, the denominator for calculating the percentage of the registered members was the 2004 population projection but this was always made clear when the figures for registration were presented. Accordingly, this is not at all a new discovery or revelation by Oxfam.”
“It is important to note that membership of a scheme such as the NHIS is not based on mathematical extrapolations but collation of names, addresses and critical bio-data of people which can be verified, and the fact that the researches did not exhaust the possibility of accessing such information, suggests a calculated effort to tarnish a home grown African initiative and underscores the poor quality of the research.”
He also noted that the personalities that the Oxfam report cited as support for the study, such as Mr Chris Atim have openly distanced themselves from the report through a written disclaimer.
It is purely evident that Oxfam international is out to find fault in Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme since the programme in gaining international acclaim as a potential model of healthcare financing in the world.
In November 2010, the NHIS was selected by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for an award at its 2010 Global South-South Development Exposition held in Geneva, Switzerland for showing leadership in health insurance implementation in the developing world.
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