African countries ‘envy’ NHIS but… – WHO to govt

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called on the government of Ghana to improve the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) so it can achieve optimum effectiveness although it admits that the social intervention policy is an initiative many African countries would like to copy.

The outgoing Country Director for the WHO, Dr Owen Laws Kaluwo, who made the comment, further called for collaborative efforts to plug the loopholes in the programme while maintaining that the policy is a good health intervention which makes Ghana a pacesetter on the continent.

Speaking at a farewell engagement with Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Dr Kaluwo further admonished the government to continue to work assiduously on improving asses to healthcare across the country.

“Ghana is one country that has such a system that others are envying and aspiring to have,” he said.

He added: “Despite the many improvements that we need to do, we are way ahead in terms of having a system that ensures that people do not pay out of their pockets. We need to strengthen it so it can perform better but I think what we need to do is to all embrace that and make sure that we work together toward achieving that objective and many countries come or request to come to Ghana to learn what Ghana has done in terms of having such a national health insurance scheme. A scheme of that nature is not simple and easy, that’s why there will always be issues that come up but you should always try to improve it,” Dr Kaluwo said in his assessment of the policy.

For her part, Ms Botchwey expressed gratitude for the strong partnership which existed between the government of Ghana and the WHO during the tenure of the outgoing Country Director.

Touching on issues related to the health insurance, the minister noted that the country had made a lot of progress in the roll-out of the scheme in spite of the challenges which emerged along the journey of implementation.

“Thank you for the great work that has been done, we will continue to rely on the WHO in order that we can improve on the programmes that we have already started and probably introduce new programmes which will go toward making sure that health delivery and healthcare in Ghana is what is expected,” she noted.

Dr Kaluwo leaves Ghana on 15 November 2019 for the Republic of South Africa to take up a new role.


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