February 29, 2012

Subscribers of the National Health Insurance Policy in the Ashanti Region would have to wait a while longer as president John Mills and his cabinet take a decision on the way forward on the controversial capitation policy.

A meeting between the Health minister Alban Bagbin and the Society of Private Medical and Dental Practitioners (SMPD) ended in a deadlock with the Minister deferring to the President for the way forward.

The Private Healthcare providers have pulled out of the National Health Insurance Scheme in protest over the capitation programme which is being piloted in the Ashanti Region.

The Capitation system was introduced by the current administration as a way of checking waste and inefficiencies which existed in the old system.

The system is to enable accredited healthcare providers receive advance payment at a pre-arranged fixed rate and to provide defined package of services to each subscriber.

Per the new system, subscribers are expected to choose three health facilities of their choice, where they would receive medical care, anytime they intend to visit the hospital.

But the SMPD has vehemently resisted the implementation of the policy, saying, the policy in its current form will adversely affect the quality of healthcare delivery in the country.

They have pulled out of the NHIS scheme and operating a cash and carry system until their concerns are addressed.

Patients, especially those on the NHIS have been put in a precarious situation with little or no option but to endure the crippling cash and carry system gradually resurfacing.

The sector Minister after a meeting with the SMPD told Joy News’ Evans Mensah that “inputs from the president and his cabinet will inform the way forward.”

According to him all stakeholders are in favour of the capitation policy but disagree on its implementation.

He said the government will take into consideration the recommendations that have been made which will be incorporated into the capitation policy.

For now though, the status quo [capitation policy] albeit with its challenges will be implanted until the present and his cabinet proffer a way forward, the minister noted.

Deputy Corporate Affairs Director of the NHIA agrees with the sector minister.

He said the authority is an agency under the Ministry and takes policy directives from it.

“I Will not dilate any further on the position by the minister,” he told Evans Mensah.

Source: myjoyonline.com