Sleepless nights at hospitals as underfunded NHIS leaves patients stranded

Sleepless nights at hospitals as underfunded NHIS leaves patients stranded

The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in Ghana has been a crucial intervention for many over the years. However, there have been complaints about the quality of services provided under the scheme, including underfunding and facilities charging extra medical fees that should be covered by the scheme.

Despite reports of a 61% increase in NHIS registration since 2017, questions remain about the quality of services provided in various hospitals across the country. Complaints have emerged about delays in receiving treatment, lack of essential medications, and instances where NHIS subscribers have had to purchase medicines that should be covered under the scheme.

One patient, Gifty Boakye, voiced her frustration, describing the health insurance scheme as ‘stale’ and expressing concerns about the lack of quality healthcare for those without sufficient funds.

Similarly, other individuals have reported instances of having to pay extra fees for treatment, purchasing expensive medicines, and facing long waiting periods due to the inadequate coverage provided by the NHIS.

The situation has also shed light on the disparities in pricing of medicines covered by the NHIS, leading to hospitals having to top up prices of drugs and medical consumables. As a result, profit-seeking hospitals have been able to charge patients more than necessary as top-ups.

The influx of complaints and concerns from individuals receiving services under the NHIS indicates a need for improvement in the coverage and quality of healthcare provided. Efforts to reach the Ashanti Regional Health Insurance Office for comment have been unsuccessful, but health officials are proposing an increase in premium drugs covered by the NHIS.

The challenges facing the NHIS call for further examination and potential reforms to ensure that all Ghanaians have access to quality healthcare without facing financial burdens.