Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye, Chief Executive Officer, National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), has called for stakeholder engagement to address the rising healthcare cost in the country.
The CEO, in a speech read on his behalf by Dr Isaac C.N. Morrison, the Medical Director, AIMS Hospital, said this was crucial for effective decision making to drive down the cost of healthcare delivery.
Dr Okoe-Boye made the call at a public lecture to as part of activities to mark the 19th annual General Meeting of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, on the theme: “Rising Healthcare Cost: Ensuring Value for Money.”
The event sought to stir up conversations on how to mitigate the effects of the current global economic crisis on the rising cost of healthcare.
He mentioned that digital innovation, current global economic crisis, healthcare providers driving up prices to cover overheads, cost of drugs, the global healthcare regulatory environment and fraud contributed to the rising cost of healthcare.
Dr Okoe-Boye stated that it was important for value measures to be made accessible and transparent to the individual or patient, assessing healthcare.
“Likewise, the level of overall responsiveness to the healthcare in which individuals are treated and the environment in which they are treated encompasses confidentiality, dignity, prompt attention, social support, and basic amenities.
“This and many others will be the prospects of Ghanaians on how they would appreciate value for money in the healthcare system,” he added.
He pledged the NHIS commitment to working with all stakeholders to provide healthcare services that were needed by Ghanaians.
Dr Henry Lawson, the Vice Rector, Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, called on Ghanaians to engage in periodic medical checks because it allowed for early detection in case of an eminent disease, adding that this alternative source of health would help reduce healthcare cost especially during rehabilitation.
He urged Ghanaians to take health insurance seriously and ensure that it was active always to be able to bear the rising cost of healthcare in case of an emergency.
“Let us focus more on prevention than curative because healthcare is expensive.” Dr Lawson added.
Dr Isaac C.N. Morrison, the Medical Director, AIMS Hospital, during a panel discussion, advised Ghanaians to lead lifestyles that would prevent them from getting infected with diseases.
He said the rising healthcare cost would not change if the public did not change their mindset by engaging in physical activities and having proper diets to stay healthy always.
Ms Susana Adjei-Addo, the Human Resource Manager, Petroleum Commission of Ghana, lamenting over the situation, asked that patients and clients of hospitals were educated on some drugs and services.
Mr Ronald Oppong Adom, Industry Lead, Private Health Insurers Association Ghana, also called for uniform costing system in the health sector, saying that this would control how things are done.