Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, may I repeat that this is a quote from the January 20, 2014 edition of the Daily Graphic. Mr Speaker, paragraph (1) of the report said this and with your permission, I beg to quote:
“Sharp differences in opinions emerge among participants in a workshop in Accra last Friday on whether the “Capitation” system of payment under the National Health Insurance Scheme should be withdrawn or implemented nationwide.”
Mr Speaker, paragraph (5) of the same report said this and again, with your permission, I beg to quote:
“The Ghana Medical Association in the region …,”
And here, the region is Ashanti Region.
“… has kicked against that system of payment.”
Mr Speaker, the meeting was originally scheduled and dubbed as a “stake- holders' meeting”. But in the Daily Graphic report, they are talking about a workshop.
Mr Speaker, I intentionally quoted this to paint the picture of what is happening on the ground for all of us to appreciate and for us as representatives of the people to appreciate what we have in hand and to see how we will together help to get it resolved, so that this means of payment, which is one of the means and which has been given legal bases in the law, can be managed and managed effectively to the benefit of the people of Ghana.
Mr Speaker, I rose in support of the Motion as moved by the Hon Member of Parliament for Wa West, Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh.
Mr Speaker, this was in reaction to your directive which came after the Private Member's Motion, which I moved on the 13th of February. Mr Speaker, over the time, we have gone through a lot of deliberations and today, we are here presenting this consensus Motion.
Mr Speaker, I wish to reiterate, as was captured in my previous submission, and here, I beg to quote:
“We wish to clarify for all that we are not averse to the concept of “Capitation” in health insurance management as we understand it to mean. We supported it as a means of health financing, operational and sanitising mechanism under Act 650 of 2003 and its amendment Act 852 of 2012, and the relevant section of of the Act, section 37 (c), which talks about “Capitation” in the law.”
Mr Speaker, I also continued in my previous submission, and again, with your permission, I beg to quote:
“What we have frowned upon and indeed, have been against has been the continued hurried and botched implementation, which has rather left a sour taste in the mouths of all who are experiencing it.”
Mr Speaker, nobody who has been speaking from this side has ever said the concept of “Capitation” is a bad one. We do know that it is practised in a lot of jurisdictions and we do know that it has a lot of advantages; for the provider -- for the scheme and for the subscriber himself. But Mr Speaker, one of the major bases for the introduction of a health insurance
scheme, is to ensure that out-of-pocket expenditure is reduced.
Mr Speaker, unfortunately, since health insurance was introduced in Ghana, there has been seen a well correlated reduction in our out-of-pocket expenditure. This, Mr Speaker, was also shown in my previous presentation. However, when “Capitation” was introduced in the Ashanti Region, there was seen to be a very marked increase in out-of-pocket expenditure.
Mr Speaker, the Eastern Region has always been used as comparator when the regions are being studied with the Ashanti Region.
Mr Speaker, in the studies that the National Health Insurance Authority itself did, it was found out that whereas the out- of-pocket expenditure in the Eastern Region was 36 per cent, that for the Ashanti Region has gone up to 64 per cent.
Mr Speaker, that tells you that there is something wrong. And if you look at the two environments, the only difference is that there has been this change of the introduction of the “Capitation”. If the introduction of “Capitation” has caused that increase, then Mr Speaker, there is the need for us all to have a look, especially when the National Health Insurance Authority is not only thinking about “Capitation” being in the Ashanti Region only, but also being extended to the entire country.
Mr Speaker, if it is going to be extended to the entire country and if we are going to have an increase in out-of-pocket expenditure, then we would have defeated the entire reason for introducing National Health Insurance Scheme in Ghana.
That Mr Speaker, should be what this House must address itself to. We, as representatives of the people, we would want to ensure that our people do not suffer for any other reason other than always enjoying and benefiting in systems that are in place or put in place for the people of Ghana.