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Petroleum Revenue will fund National Health Insurance scheme from 2017 – Mahama

Mahama Higlight President John Mahama has indicated that a percentage of the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) from petroleum revenue will be used in funding the National Health Insurance Scheme during his second term in office beginning 2017.

According to him, this move will ensure prolonging the life span of the scheme and also make it more efficient to serve the needs of the public.

The idea for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in Ghana was conceived by former president John Kufuor who when seeking the mandate of the people in the 2000 elections, promised to abolish the cash and carry system of health delivery. Under the cash and carry system, the health need of an individual was only attended to after initial payment for the service was made. Even in cases when patients had been brought into the hospital on emergencies it was required that money was paid at every point of service delivery.

Upon becoming president, former president Kufuor pushed through his idea of getting rid of “cash and carry” and replacing it with an equitable insurance scheme that ensured that treatment was provided first before payment for Ghanaian citizens. In 2003, the scheme was passed into law. Under the law, there was the establishment of Ghana National Health Insurance Authority which licenses, monitors and regulates the operation of health insurance schemes in Ghana. Like many countries in the world, Ghana’s health insurance was fashioned out to meet specific needs of Ghanaian citizens.

Speaking during the highlights of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) Manifesto in Accra, President John Mahama expressed his administration’s commitment to improving the National Health Insurance.

“When the actuarial study for the National Health Insurance was conducted it indicated that based on the funding sources that had been identified, the National Health Insurance scheme will last a certain number of years. We have long since passed that period that was designated. It was said that after that period the National Health Insurance will collapse, it has not collapsed, it has even gone beyond the period it was intended. It means that we need to rework the sustainability of the National Health Insurance and so we are going to look for sources of funding for the National Health Insurance beyond the two and the half percent VAT and workers contribution and premiums.”