Assessing the impact of national health insurance scheme

Introduction “The first wealth is health” In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties” It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver. In health and disease are now recognized as barriers to economic growth in developing countries. Health before wealth is more than just an old adage and program that aim to protect and improve the health of people can help in the battle against poverty. Good health boosts labour productivity, educational attainment and income and so reduces poverty.

A country’s economic development is closely interrelated with the health status of its population and equitable health care system is therefore important instrument in breaking the vicious circle of poverty and ill health. Ghana was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to win independence from the British and her future was ever to so bright under the leadership of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana set up a National Health service which was fully financed from state revenue.

The advantage of this system was that, it paid higher progressive (high income individuals paid higher taxes than low income people. ) It also provided service for everybody without any cost, so it protected the poor people from financial shocks. It did not involve user charges at point of service. The disadvantages however, were very clear in that, the medical services provided were indeed low quality and it was biased towards the urban populace and neglected the rural poor. In 1971, the government introduced user fees to patients for hospital procedures.

Initially, the fees were small but, the principle was established. By the early 1980’s Ghana was experiencing balance of payment crisis which was soon generalized into an economic crisis which affected all sectors of the economy (Nana Yaw Osei) Over the years “cash and carry” system made it compulsory for everybody to pay money immediately before and after treatment in our hospitals and clinics which was not within the means of most Ghanaians and many were going to our hospitals and clinics resulting in needless deaths.

The National Health Insurance Authority was established under the national Health Insurance Act 2003, Act 650, as a body corporate with perpetual succession, an official seal that may sue and be sued in its own name. The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was launched by former President John Agyekum Kuffour in March 2004, following the passage of the (NHIS) Act by parliament in 2003. The programme subsequently took off in 2005.

SCOPE OF THE RESEARCH This research work will assess the Impact of National health Insurance Scheme on Ghanaian Economy.

It will cover the management and administration of the scheme fund within Akuapem North District NHIS.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM. Many people in this country are aware of the existence of the (NHIS) but are not registered to the scheme due to the fact that they do not know its impact on the Ghanaian economy. It is upon this that the researcher is to undertake a research into the impact of NHIS within the Akuapem North District PURPOSE OF THE STUDY. The study of the impact of NHIS in the following Akuapem North District has the following purpose. 1.

To find out the employment opportunities NHIS has been able to create within the District. 2. How far the NHIS have solved the problem of “cash and carry” within the district. 3. To identify some of the challenges faced by NHIS. 4. Examine scheme sustainability issues in terms of financial sustainability (premiums against cost of services, administrative cost, and membership size. ) 5. Examine the position of the scheme in meeting the requirements of National Health Insurance. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY. The main objective of the study is to know the impact of the Health Insurance.

Scheme on the Ghanaian economy. The specific objectives •To know the economic effect of NHIS on the lives of the people or the beneficiaries •To assess the opportunities and benefits accrued from NHIS. •TO know the challenges individuals face in participation. HYPOTHESIS The following have been deduced from the theory to be tested; 1. What employment opportunities has NHIS created since its inception? 2. To what extent has NHIS solved the problem of cash and carry system? 3. What perception does the general public have about the NHIS? 4. TO challenges individual face before and during the insurance.

LITERATURE REVIEW. This part will concern Reviews of related literature that is, Theoretical review and Empirical review. The outlines for my literature review are 1. INTRODUCTION. This chapter would be categorized into two parts. The first part talks about the review of literature on health insurance in the African continent The second section would talk about the general overview for the scheme’s operation.

1. 2HISTORICAL BACKGROUND. 1. 3 HEALTH 1. 4INSURANCE 1. 5HEALTH INSURANCE 1. 6TYYPES OF HEALTH INSURANCE 1. 7SOCIAL HEALTH INSURANCE 1. 8PEOPLE INVOLVED IN ITS ADMINISTRATION.

WHAT IS THE MAJOR GOVERNMENT POLICY ON HEALTH FINANCING IN GHANA? The Government is to replace the existing ‘Cash and Carry’ health financing system with a National Health Insurance Scheme. WHY? Because the current ‘Cash and Carry’ System, which makes …

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