Collaboration between NHIS and Department of Social Welfare is weak


SEND-GHANA, during its monitoring of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection for LEAP beneficiaries?to be registered under the NHIS, has realised that the collaboration between National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and Department of Social Welfare is weak

NHISThis they believe is rendering ineffective government directive that all beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) be registered with the National Health Insurance Scheme as indigents.

A local news agency reported on March 27, 2015 that, these revelations were made this known at a Regional Level Engagement with the NHIS and the Department of Social Welfare to look at the MOU and discuss the successes and challenges affecting the registration of LEAP beneficiaries under the indigent category of the NHIS as directed by government.

The forum was organised to find out from the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection challenges that were undermining the collaboration efforts in ensuring that LEAP beneficiaries were enrolled onto the NHIS.

Adamu Mukaila, Programme Officer of SEND-GHANA said, as part of government?s efforts of ensuring equitable distribution of Ghana?s resources, the LEAP programme was introduced as a social intervention to transfer cash to the poorest households, to empower the extremely poor, disadvantaged, disabled and vulnerable population.

He said the importance of the programme per the MOU between the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection was to ensure that all beneficiaries of LEAP enrolled automatically onto the NHIS to allow them access free healthcare services in addition to the cash they received.

He said in the case of beneficiaries in the Region, few of them had since been registered under the NHIS instead of all by per the directive.

The Programme Officer said during its monitoring it realised that where there was collaboration; enrolment of LEAP beneficiaries onto the NHIS was greater than where there was little or no collaboration.

Mukaila used the opportunity to encourage health stakeholders to use the local radio stations to educate the people on the MOU so that beneficiaries could take advantage of the directive to register and access health care services.

The stakeholders complained about challenges with the biometric registration, which capture details of the caretakers rather than beneficiaries.

They also expressed concern that NHIS was mandated to identify the indigents but that responsibility was taken away from it and given to the Department of Social Welfare, which now identifies the indigents and provides the names of the beneficiaries for registration under the NHIS.

The NHIS said it found some persons, who in their estimation should not had benefited from LEAP at the expense of the vulnerable and called for retargeting of beneficiaries.

?If LEAP is for the poor, then there is need for retargeting because the core poor are not benefiting?, the NHIS pointed out.

The stakeholders gave the assurance that they would strengthen their collaboration efforts and ensure that they identify as many indigents as possible and enroll them onto the NHIS as directed by the government.

They called for joint training of NHIS and the Department of Social Welfare agents at the rural areas to work in collaborative efforts to promote quality work.

Titus Sorey, Regional Director of NHIS urged the stakeholders to play their roles appropriately to achieve results, adding: ?I believe it might work for me, it works for you and it will work for everybody?.

District Managers of NHIS, Officers from the Department of Social Welfare, and the regional directors of NHIS and Department of Social Welfare attended the meeting.


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