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NHIS offers free dialysis for patients

Local News

14 days ago
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The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) will from this month absorb the cost of dialysis for all patients at varying proportions, with the vulnerable group receiving free eight sessions per month.

The scheme will absorb the costs of all eight dialysis sessions per month for patients aged under 18 and above 60 years, which it has categorised as the vulnerable group, for an initial period of six months.

The acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr Da-Costa Aboagye, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic yesterday, said for patients aged 18 and 59 years, the scheme would absorb the cost of two dialysis sessions per month at GH¢982, that is GH¢491 per session, at all government facilities offering dialysis services, except the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH).

At KBTH where a philanthropist already offers GH¢380 subsidy per session, the NHIS would top up with GH¢245.50, which is 50 per cent of the cost per session, for two sessions per month, estimated at GH¢491.  

Dr Aboagye explained that the support for the vulnerable group, with 84 verified patients, was estimated to cost GH¢329,952 per month and a six-month cumulative sum of GH¢2.3 million for those under 18 and above 60 years.

For those aged 18 and 59, the cost of dialysis for 147 verified patients worked out to GH¢144,354 per month and about GH¢1.01 million by the end of December this year for all facilities, except KBTH.

The cost of dialysis for the treatment of 300 patients aged 18 and 59 at KBTH is also estimated to be GH¢147,300 per month and a cumulative GH¢1.03 million by the end of December this year.

This brings the total amount estimated to be absorbed by the scheme to GH¢4.35 million by the end of six months, Dr Aboagye stated.

Aside from KBTH, the other hospitals covered are the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital (CCTH), the Efia Nkwanta Regional Hospital (ENRH), the Ho Teaching Hospital (HTH) and the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH).

Dr Aboagye explained that the measure was a corporate social responsibility (CSR) gesture by the NHIA as a stopgap measure, while the government worked out a permanent solution.

It was also to encourage more corporate entities to join the support for renal dialysis patients, he explained. The CEO of the NHIA further stated that full actuarial studies had been conducted which indicated the scheme could absorb the costs for six months.

“The government is committed to finding sustainable interventions to dealing with, in a holistic manner, renal diseases and other illnesses not currently covered under the NHIS and will soon unveil a sustainable plan,” Dr Aboagye stressed.

Addressing the sources of funds, the CEO of NHIA told the Daily Graphic that the government had released GH¢2 million after parliamentary approval in the NHIA’s 2024 Allocation Formula to support needy and vulnerable patients seeking dialysis treatment.

He said as part of its 20th anniversary, NHIA through administrative arrangements had also allocated additional GH¢2.4 million under the CSR approved budget of the scheme to support the initiative.

“This means approximately GH¢4.4 million is being invested to support this initiative as indicated,” Dr Aboagye explained.

source: Graphiconline.com