The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye, says Ghana can cater for persons with renal diseases if it is committed to doing so.
This follows recent discussions and agitations on a yet-to-be-approved cost of renal dialysis at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and the attendant calls for the NHIA to cover the cost of dialysis
Dr Okoe-Boye said in an interview indicated that the country could cater for renal disease patients if it put in place some measures.
Outlining what could be done, Dr Okoe-Boye stressed, “I can tell you very boldly, we can as a country if we are committed to paying totally for kidney care. There are three things we can do. First of all, politically we’ve been going back and forth on funding with NHIS, so we don’t have to go directly to ‘politicians’ for money. Number two, we can put some levy, what is referred to as sin tax on some one or two products which are normally not consumed by the ordinary person but by people in a particular class, and the inflows from that levy can go into a fund not necessarily with National Health Insurance. It can be the chronic disease fund or the peripheral disease fund which will go to the department that takes care of kidney and other cardio diseases. It will enable Korle Bu to heavily subsidise again.”
“Thirdly, we as a country can come together quickly, take away either all the taxes on any item that goes into kidney care, or we can look at two or three consumables which affect the pricing and the state can procure it directly… So we have a duty as a country to find ways to beat down the cost of dialysis either to zero or about 20%. Lastly, we can still register those who are indigenes who cannot afford some GH¢20, give them special cards and the state can reimburse them from health insurance, it can be done,” Dr. Okoe-Boye said