NHIS Boss Resigns

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Dr. Samuel Annor, Outgoing NHIS Boss

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr. Samuel Annor has resigned from office after two years of service to the scheme. The Evening Mail can confirm.

According to our sources, Dr. Annor has handed over to his deputy who takes over as acting CEO until a new CEO is appointed.

Until his appointment, Dr. Annor was a consultant obstetrician/gynecologist and a partner of Lister Hospital – a leading international Private Hospital. He was also the first Board Chairman of Ghana Airport Company Limited in 2007.

Proceed on Leave

The reason for his resignation is not immediately known. But it follows a recent news that suggested that the president directed some Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of some eight public institutions to proceed on compulsory retirement.

The news story that went viral suggested that the directive was in accordance with a provision in the Public Service Act which enjoins public officers to retire from the public service on attaining the age of sixty (60) years and getting a possible extension of five (5) extra years.

The affected CEOs were Mr Eugene Ofosuhene, 67 years, Controller and Accountant General, Mr Maxwell Kofi Jumah, 68 years, CEO of Ghana Industrial Holding Corporation (GIHOC); Mr. Isaac Osei, 67 years, CEO of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR); Mr Kwame Owusu, 67 years, CEO of Ghana Maritime Authority and Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie (Sir John) , 65 years, CEO of Forestry Commission.

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The rest were Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, 65 years, Director General of Ghana Health Service, Dr Samuel Annor, 64 years, CEO of National Health Insurance Authority and Mr K.K. Sarpong, 65 years, CEO of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

Gov’t’s Denial

The Government however debunked the media reports that it had asked the eight chief executive officers to proceed on retirement because they had passed the mandatory retirement age of 60.

Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, in denying the report, at a news conference in Accra, urged the public and institutional stakeholders to, disregard the information circulating in some sections of the media.

Mass Resignation Looming

However, Evening Mail’s Deep throat sources within the corridors of power suggest that all the eight names that appeared in the media may be resigning one after the other between now and March 2019.

 

Dr. Annor’s NHIS

Dr. Annor was appointed as the Chief Executive of the NHIA by the President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo to assume office in March, 2017 at a time the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Ghana’s major social intervention programme was at the verge of collapse due to debts owed to Providers of healthcare services.
He leaves behind a scheme with over 10 million active members and 4,340 NHIS Credentialed facilities across the regions of Ghana.

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His administration was very instrumental in the clearing of the huge backlog of debts owed providers to the tune of 1.2 billion Ghana cedis and the introduction of the innovative Mobile Renewal Service; a phone based service launched in December, 2018 that allows members and providers to conveniently renew and authenticate their membership with the aid of a mobile phone.

Identifying challenges that confronted the scheme after touring all the regions of Ghana and engaging extensively with stakeholders, Dr. Annor’s administration sought to resolve these challenges through a model he termed “Re- structuring of the NHIS on Four (4) Pillars”.
The four (4) pillars centered on: fully implementing an Electronic Claims management system to improve efficiency and reduce fraud, improve compliance in clinical and internal audits to mitigate fraud, amend the NHIS law to make crime against the Scheme more punitive and to act as a deterrent to potential fraudsters and finally re-designing the financing model of the Scheme to make it more sustainable.

The four pillar approach found favour with the government who in turn responded by making changes to the NHIS levy which is anticipated to generate an additional 600 – 800 Million Ghana Cedis annually to shore up the schemes finances.

The selection process for an appropriate firm to partner the NHIA to implement the Electronic Claims Management is currently underway and will be completed hopefully within the first quarter of 2019.

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Clinical Audits increased over the last two years and has produced some outstanding outcomes resulting in deductions from Providers. The Legal Directorate of the NHIA has been expanded with the recruitment of six lawyers, a significant raise from the hitherto one lawyer organization.

The Attorney General has provided additional training to these lawyers and now granted the NHIA the much needed fiat to make prosecutions independently possible. This will make prosecutions swifter and reduce the cost associated with protracted cases.

Under Dr. Annor’s two year tenure, Management successfully negotiated unprecedented in the history of the NHIA, pay rises for staff across board in 2017 and 2018 respectively, instituted new programs at both operational and strategic levels designed to enhance HR processes by converting all staff data into electronic format to help improve efficiency. This initiative has helped to address staff concerns regarding notch movement in a fair and transparent manner.

As a firm believer of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), he will be remembered by members of staff and stakeholders for his continuous advocacy of meeting the UHC target in all his presentations and stakeholder engagements, his simplicity, quietness and humility to work and to produce results.

Source: Evening Mail

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