The presidential nominee of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has accused the governing National Democratic Congress of collapsing the National Health Insurance Scheme.
Speaking at a rally in Nandom in the Upper West Region Sunday, Nana Akufo-Addo said the collapse of the scheme under the watch of president John Mahama is due to the fact that he and his party never believed in it.
He recalled how the then NDC Minority walked out of Parliament when the bill to establish the NHIS was brought to the house.
The NPP leader said:”One of the biggest legacies of president Kufour was the National Health Insurance Scheme. It has collapse under the NDC and John Mahama administration.
“When the [NHIS] bill was going to parliament, the NDC parliamentarians including the then MP for Bole-Bamboi, John Dramani Mahama walked out of the house.
“They did not believe in the bill. They walked out. So it is not surprising that when they came to power this important tool of social engineering, of social stability, of equity in our system has been discarded and sent into the dustbin.”
Nana-Akufo promised to fix the “collapsed” NHIS and make it work for the benefit of Ghanaians.”We are going to bring it back and make it work for everybody here in Ghana.”
This is not the first time the NPP presidential nominee has accused the government of collapsing the NHIS.
At a rally in the Dormaa West constituency of the Brong Ahafo region in July 2016, the NPP leader said he will revive the NHIS which he claims is collapsing under the NDC.
“I am coming to revive the National Health Insurance Scheme, which ensured that the poor in society gained access to healthcare without the financial burden which used to be associated with healthcare delivery (under the cash and carry regime),” he said.
However, president Mahama, who is seeking a second term in office has rejected Akufo-Addo’s claims, saying the scheme is “very strong” under the NDC.
He said: “Our political opponents say NHIS has collapsed. NHIS in 2008 saw 9 million outpatient visitations to hospitals. Last year, 2015, the NHIS has grown in outpatients visitations from 9 million to 29 million. How can that be a scheme that has collapsed? In 2008, the total amount of money that was paid to facilities for providing treatments to NHIA [National Health Insurance Authority] patients was GHc183 million. Last year, 2015, the total amount of money that was paid by NHIA to facilities across the country for treatments given to NHIA cardholders was more than GHc1 billion. How can that be a scheme that has collapsed?”