Traditional rulers in the Volta Region have hailed the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Chief Executive, Dr. Okoe Boye’s strong leadership and said they were excited about the future of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), under his supervision.
They expressed their satisfaction during a courtesy call on Dr. Okoe Boye at the NHIA head office in Accra on September 22, 2022.
As representatives of the Volta Traditional Leaders Forum, leader of the high-powered delegation, Togbui Dey III in a statement congratulated Dr. Okoe-Boye on his appointment.
“We are here to congratulate you on your well-deserved appointment and to wish you well in your assigned role. We also show our appreciation to you and your management team for the great work you are doing and to urge you to continue because serving the poor and the vulnerable is the best service anyone could do.”
“We must indicate that we received the news of your appointment by His Excellency the President as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority early this year with joy and high hopes. Our happiness with your appointment stemmed largely from our conviction of your capacity and capabilities as a public servant.”
The statement stressed that, “Through to your nature as an achiever, you have started leaving giant footprints on the sand of the NHIS. You have demonstrated within this short period of your stewardship as CEO, full grasp and appreciation of the major challenges facing the Scheme and your capacity to find appropriate solutions.”
"We take the opportunity to commend you and your management team for the sustained efforts aimed at ensuring that the NHIS serves the needs of our people as envisioned by the framers of the policy. The NHIS is an important national policy initiative which touches the lives of millions of Ghanaians, and the success of this critical asset requires the support and collaborations of all to make it realize its objective."
The traditional leaders appreciated the creation of the Copayments Committee and the waiver on the one-month mandatory waiting period for the aged above 70 years when they renew their NHIS membership.
“Your strategic policy interventions including the setting up of the Copayments Committee to address the issues of illegal charges at healthcare facilities is a major step in the right direction. The practice of illegal charges by the hospitals is a source of major concern not only to the people of the Volta Region but all Ghanaians. Your decision to stop the practice is a welcoming news.”
“Again, your policy to waive the waiting period for older people who are 70 years and above shows your appreciation of the negative impact of the waiting period on the health of the aged and the vulnerable."
"You have also reviewed upwards the prices of medicines and tariffs to address the incidence of healthcare facilities refusing to give medicines to NHIS members because of complaints of low prices."
The traditional leaders promised to deepen their collaboration with the NHIA to increase the Scheme’s active membership.
"The Volta Traditional Leaders Forum as a first step is committed to collaborate with the NHIA to undertake serious education within the various traditional areas in the region using the established traditional institutions and channels to help the NHIS increase its membership. Even more heartening is your approach to collaborate with the chieftaincy institution and leverage their position and influence to educate our subjects on the NHIS. This is very laudable, and we commend you for it."
The Forum pledged to support and work with government and development partners to help improve the wellbeing of all residents in the Volta Region.
The traditional leaders recalled Dr. Okoe Boye's days as then Member of Parliament for the Ledzokuku constituency in the Greater Accra Region.
"Our people in your constituency continue to have fond memories of your good works and give good testimonies about your humility, passion for service, generosity and incredible persona.”
One of the major concerns raised at the meeting was inadequate NHIS infrastructure in the region which according to the traditional leaders required the immediate construction and opening of new NHIS offices in deprived communities.
Dr. Okoe Boye commended the traditional leaders for their foresight and expressed his administration’s commitment to make Ghana's Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda a reality.
"We will continue to ensure that money is not a barrier to accessing quality and affordable healthcare services. Traditional leaders are key partners in ensuring that we achieve UHC. Your concerns will be addressed in due course."
According to him, the Volta Region has a strong traditional leadership always championing the development needs of their people and reassured the delegation of his administration’s determination to fix the challenges affecting the NHIA operations in the region and beyond.
The NHIA Boss said the NHIA is blessed to have great talents within the organization that are very committed and hardworking. He cited Mr. Raymond Avinu, the Acting Director of Administration and Human Resources of the Authority and an indigen of the Volta Region as one of such talents in the organization.
Dr Okoe Boye who referred to Mr. Avinu as his right-wing man, further described him as a critical thinker, a game changer, and a humble public servant.
He took the opportunity and encouraged residents in Ghana who are yet to enroll to take advantage of the massive NHIS registrations campaigns ongoing across the country to register with the Scheme to secure their healthcare.