The leadership of the Ghana Physician Assistants Association (GPAA) has reached a mutual understanding with the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) regarding concerns raised about the directive that all private health centres manned by physician assistants should regularise their status or be decredentialed.
The NHIA had stated previously that privately owned health centres manned by physician assistants had up to June 30 2020 to upgrade their status with the Health Facilities Regulatory Agency and subsequently the NHIA.
The statement added that the Authority would no longer grant credentials to privately-owned health centres manned by physician assistants.
This is to ensure that the services of physician assistants are supervised in accordance with their training guidelines.
In response, leadership of the GPAA felt the directive sought to stop its members from going into private practice and were not clear of the motives for the directive.
At a stakeholder engagement spearheaded by the NHIA, a communique was issued at the end of the deliberations, indication the mutual understanding reached.
The communique said that the NHIA cherishes its relationship with all its stakeholders and “affirms its commitment to keep engaging for the sustenance of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the growth of the health sector in general.”
It added that, in line with this commitment, “Management of the NHIA, together with representatives from the Ministry of Health, Medical & Dental Council and Health Facilities Regulatory Authority (HEFRA) met with the leadership of the Ghana Physician Assistants Association on the 18th of February, 2020 to discuss issues pertaining to their credentialing status under the NHIS.”
It disclosed that participants, at the end of the meeting, agreed that the NHIA continues to provide financial access to health for all residents of Ghana in a sustainable way.
“That the NHIA will maintain its standards for credentialing of facilities and enforce all relevant protocols and guidelines as directed by the Ministry of Health to ensure quality of care at all levels.
“Again that all healthcare practitioners will strictly adhere to their regulatory guidelines for better health outcomes,” it added.
All participants agreed to deliberate further and work in solidarity.