Dr. Maxwell Antwi, the Ghana Country Director of PharmAccess Foundation, has urged the National Health Insurance Authority to add family planning to National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) benefits package.
According to him, the single largest cost driver of NHIS is not malaria but pregnancy and delivery.
Speaking at the NHIS week celebration dubbed ‘NHIA Data Day’, Dr Antwi emphasized on the importance of data, particularly in the workings of the NHIA.
He said PharmAccess Foundation will continue to partner the National Health Insurance Authority to deliver on their digitization efforts.
Dr Antwi noted, one of the major challenges of the National Health Authority has been corruption and inefficiency, fueled over the years by a lack of data and use of innovation in making payments for claims provided by its service providers.
He explained, “data is the new gold of the world. If you’re not looking at your data, you’re not different from someone who doesn’t have data. Every decision that the NHIS makes, going forward must be driven by data towards getting to financial sustainability.”
“Now we know that, the single largest cost driver of the NHIS is not malaria, it’s pregnancy and delivery. So, it makes good economic sense for Ghana to add family planning to the NHIS benefit package”, Dr. Maxwell Antwi stressed.
NHIA has over the years been in debt to its service providers, with several allegations of corruption also.
Whilst the National Health Insurance Authority under its new leaders have made strides in shedding this poor image of itself and improving on its past, there still exists a significant amount of work to bring it at par with global standards.
One major factor to fuel this new development will be data and digitalization. The Authority has one the biggest set of data in the country with at least 80% of the Ghanaian population enrolled on its National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), although a number of them are not active.
PharmAccess Foundation is an international non-profit organization with a digital agenda dedicated to connecting more people in sub-Saharan Africa to better healthcare. By making use of public-private partnerships, they leverage donor contributions, which they believe will pave the way for private investments thereby contributing to healthier populations and social and economic development.
The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is partnering with PharmAccess on data analytics to strengthen NHIA’s capacity and stimulate its ambition as a data-driven health insurer.
NHIA’s challenges include ensuring financial sustainability, operational difficulties including delayed claims processing and compensation and inadequate population coverage.
This is why PharmAccess partnership and support for the NHIS is key in its digitization drive. PharmAccess provides technical assistance to make the NHIA a data-driven insurer and knowledge institute that capitalizes on the disruptive potential of technology to create value out of its own data.
PharmAccess will be providing technical assistance (e.g., capacity building, advice, and data analytics) to make the NHIA a data-driven insurer and knowledge institute that capitalizes on the disruptive potential of technology to create value out of its own data.