The Deputy Minister-Designate for Health, Alexander Kodwo Kom Abban, has suggested the consideration and amendments of section 37 of the Ghana Health Service and Teaching Hospitals Act, to ensure effective functioning of the boards in the various teaching hospitals.
He averred that Section 37 of the Ghana Health Service and Teaching Hospitals Act, 1996 (Act 525) is very problematic, and has appealed for its amendment.
He indicated that the constitution of Board members of Teaching Hospitals with appointees from the Executive Arm of government, is a big challenge to the progress of the health sector.
Mr. Kodwo Kom Abban pointed out that the absence of interference and appointment by the Executive Arm of government on a Board of a Teaching Hospital will ensure proper corporate governance structure in the health sector.
Appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament to answer questions on his new portfolio as a Deputy Sector Minister on Health, Mr. Kodwo Kom Abban reiterated that supervision becomes difficult if Executive members from the government constitute a Teaching Hospital Board.
He further explained that it will become a challenge for an appointee from the Executive, to report to higher authorities on the Board.
Exemptions on Health Insurance Contributions
On the categories of persons exempted from the payment of contributions under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the Deputy Minister-Designate for Health explained that the National Health Insurance Act, 2012 (Act 852) exempt persons above seventy years, and that it is premature to amend Section 29 of the Act, to limit the years.
He added that amending Section 29 of Act 852 will require much work for authorities and other relevant stakeholders.
Mr. Kodwo Kom Abban stated that amendment of the Section will require actuarial studies to determine the importance of reducing the age on exemption.
The nominated Deputy Health Minister who doubles as Member of Parliament for Gomoa West told the Committee that an attempt to amend the said Section should not be the a priority of the health authorities.
Section 29 of the National Health Insurance Act, 2012 (Act 852) stipulates that “the categories of persons exempted from the payment of contributions under Scheme include;
(a) a child;
(b) a person in need of ante-natal, delivery and post-natal healthcare services;
(c) a person with mental disorder;
(d) a person classified by the Minister responsible for Social Welfare as an indigent;
(e) categories of differently-abled persons determined by the Minister responsible for Social Welfare;
(f) pensioners of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust,
(g) contributors to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust.
(h) a person above seventy years of age; and
(i) other categories prescribed by the Minister”.
Section 37 of Act 525
Section 37 of the Ghana Health Service and Teaching Hospitals Act, 1996 (Act 525) constitute board members of a Teaching hospital.
Section 37 (1) stipulates that “a Teaching Hospital Board shall consist of the following members;
(a) a Chairman who shall not be an employee of the hospital;
(b) the Chief Administrator of the hospital;
(c) the Dean of the relevant Medical School;
(d) the Medical Director of the hospital;
(e) the Director of Administration of the hospital;
(f) the Ditector of Nursing Services of the hospital;
(g) the Director of Finance of the hospital;
(h) the Director of Pharmacy of the hospital;
(i) the Dean of the Dental School, where applicable; and
(j) three other persons who by their qualification and experience can contribute to the work of the Board at least one of whom shall be a woman.
(2) The members shall be appointed by the President in consultation with the Council of State”.