Bagbin On Employment Of NHIA Staff
He explained that staff of the National Health Insurance scheme (NHIS) were recruited from people from varied backgrounds, some of whom may be members of the NDC, New Patriotic Party(NPP) or other political parties.
Mr Bagbin made the denial when he appeared before Parliament to answer questions by MPs. Mr Yaw Afful Maama, NPP MP for Jaman South, asked the minister about the staff strength at the head office and regional offices of the NHIA since 2008.
Mr Bagbin said in 2008, 83 staff were at the headquarters with 58 at the regional offices. He said in 2009 a total of 181 people had been employed with 105 at the headquarters and 76 at the regional offices.
In 2010, Mr Bagbin said the scheme had 218 at the headquarters and 130 at the regional offices. The minister added that in 2011, the number increased with the headquarters having a staff strength of 265 and the regional offices 149.
Mr Bagbin further explained that the NHIA had since its establishment been undergoing organisational strengthening to enable it to effectively execute its role as the regulator, supervisor and implementor of the health scheme.
He said some of the new initiatives implemented since 2009 included clinical audits which had recovered over GHc18 million overpayments from providers of the scheme.
The minister added that the success of the initiatives had required the employment of appropriate human resource both in numbers and skills. Mr Bagbin said this had been critical for the successes that had been achieved in minimising fraud and abuse, ensuring cost containment as well as speedy processing of claims.
He said the scale of the NHIA was expanding with the approval of Parliament for the establishment of 10 satellite schemes in 2011.
Other questions answered by the minister touched on the upgrading of district hospitals. Mr Bagbin revealed that the Northern and Ashanti regions would benefit from new regional hospitals while the existing ones would be used as teaching hospitals for the University for Development Studies (UDS) and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
He hinted that the Tema Hospital would also be upgraded to a regional hospital.