Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has called for effective stakeholder engagement to address the rising healthcare cost in the country.
The CEO, in a speech read on his behalf by Dr Isaac C.N. Morrison, said it was crucial for effective decision-making to drive down the cost of healthcare delivery.
Dr Okoe-Boye made the call at a public lecture as part of activities to mark the 19th annual General Meeting of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, on the theme: “Rising Healthcare Cost: Ensuring Value for Money.”
The event sought to stir up conversations on how to mitigate the effects of the current global economic crisis on the rising cost of healthcare.
He mentioned digital innovation, the current global economic crisis, healthcare providers driving up prices to cover overheads, the cost of drugs, the global healthcare regulatory environment, and fraud contributed to the rising cost of healthcare.
He said addressing the challenge, therefore required concerted efforts by policymakers, facilities, service providers and patients to drive down cost and it was important for value measures to be made accessible and transparent to the individual or patient assessing healthcare.
“Likewise, the level of overall responsiveness to the healthcare in which individuals are treated and the environment in which they are treated encompasses confidentiality, dignity, prompt attention, social support, and basic amenities.
“This and many others will be the prospects of Ghanaians on how they would appreciate value for money in the healthcare system,” he added.
He pledged the NHIS commitment to working with all stakeholders to provide healthcare services that were needed by Ghanaians.
Dr Henry Lawson, the Vice Rector of Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, called on Ghanaians to engage in periodic medical checks because it allowed for early detection in case of an eminent disease adding that the alternative source of health would help reduce healthcare costs incurred especially during rehabilitation.
He urged Ghanaians to take health insurance seriously and ensure that it was active to be able to bear the rising cost of healthcare in case of an emergency.
“Let us focus more on prevention than curative because healthcare is expensive,” Dr Lawson added.
Dr Isaac C.N. Morrison, the Medical Director, of AIMS Hospital, during a panel discussion, advised Ghanaians to live lifestyles that would prevent them from getting infected with diseases.
He said the rising healthcare cost would not change if the public did not change their mindset and start engaging in physical activities and have proper diets to stay healthy always.
Ms Susana Adjei-Addo, the Human Resource Manager Petroleum Commission of Ghana, lamenting over the situation asked that patients and clients of hospitals were educated on some drugs and services rendered for decision making.
Mr Ronald Oppong Adom, Industry Lead, Private Health Insurers Association Ghana, also called for standards to enable the country to have a uniform costing system in the health sector, saying that this would control how things are done.