The National Health Insurance Authority is making a strong case on the need to put a special levy on tabacco and alcoholic beverages so that the proceeds could be used to finance the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Justifying why there was also the need to increase health insurance levy from 2.5 per cent to 3.5. per cent, Dr Samuel Annor, the CEO of the NHIA said increasing the levy alone will not solve the problem.
“So we have put together a proposal of a health tax where people who smoke, drink would have a bit of a surcharge on the alcohol, on the tobacco and on sugar so that these people who would be amenable to certain diseases, the money would be put into the health fund.”
“Not as part of budgetary support but into the health fund and be used to look after people when they fall sick,” Dr Annor said.
“We have also spoken about employer, employee, one percent one percent and in the informal sector, we’ve talked about Gh?8 a month for all of these to go into the health fund so that we will be able to adequately look after the population,” he said.
Dr Samuel Annor made the call when he led the top management of the NHIA to pay a visit to Graphic Communications Group Limited on Monday and to observe the Editorial Conference of the Daily Graphic newspaper.
Accompanying Dr Annor were Dr Lydia Dsane-Selby, Deputy CEO in charge of Operations, Mrs Yaa Pokuaa Baiden, Deputy CEO in charge of Administration and Human Resource and Mr Francis Owusu, Deputy CEO in charge of Finance.
Others were Mr Ben Kusi, Director of Membership and Regional Operations, Mr Oswald Esuah-Mensah, Deputy Director of Marketing, Mr Davis Opoku Ansah, Deputy Director at the CEO’s Secretariat and Mr Richard Barima Sarpong, Communications Manager.
Dr Samuel Annor explained the need for Ghana to take a serious look at the financing module of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to prevent it from collapse.
“We have been broke for many years now because of the financing module,” he declared.