The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has announced its decision to veer into preventive healthcare with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The Authority has taken a stance to invest in the prevention of illnesses as against the focus on the payment of healthcare cost which has been the convention of Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) since its inception almost 20 years ago.
The MoU details that a total number of 3,000 communities in the Asante Akyem Agogo District will benefit from free health screening to be undertaken by medical students, healthcare professionals and the academia from KNUST.
The exercise is aimed at generating empirical findings on diabetes and hypertension cases in the catchment area.
This data will then form the basis for the NHIS resolve to veer into preventive healthcare.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony at the NHIA head office in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Okoe Boye, indicated that preventive healthcare is a cost-effective means of warding off illnesses and averting future complications that may arise.
Reacting to the reason behind the focus on diabetes and hypertension cases, Dr Okoe Boye stated that over 60% of adult deaths are related to these two aliments; thus, investing in them will not only be beneficial to the Authority but also increase the longevity of adult life in the country.
He further indicated that to improve the health seeking behaviour of persons living in rural areas and to provide full insurance cover for every Ghanaian, the NHIS will go a step further to register persons in the earmarked communities unto the Scheme.
Pro Vice-Chancellor of KNUST and leader of the delegation Professor Ellis Owusu-Dabo stipulated that the selection of the Asante Akyem Agogo district was as a result of the recording of high cases of non-communicable diseases during preliminary health screening and research within the district.
He added that this partnership which will be extended nationwide has come in time to safeguard the healthcare needs of these indigenes, connect them to qualified medical practitioners and also provide them with health insurance cover from the NHIS.
He reiterated that the partnership with the NHIS forms an integral part of the University’s objective to bridge the gap between services, research, and academia.
He pledged KNUST’s readiness to provide the Authority with evidence-based data that will inform the NHIA’s roadmap towards full absorption of preventive healthcare on the Scheme.
Present at the signing of the MoU from the NHIA was the Director of Research, Policy, Monitoring and Evaluation (RPME), Dr Francis Asenso Boadi; Acting Director of Administration, Mr Raymond Avinu; Acting Deputy Director of Corporate Affairs, Vida Adutwumwaa Boateng, and a team from the Corporate Affairs Directorate.
Witnessing the signing of the document from the KNUST was Professor Daniel Ansong, Dean of School of Medicine and Dentistry and Professor Christian Agyare, Provost of the College of Health Sciences and a Board Member of the NHIA.
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