Health

Mental health to be covered by NHIS by end of year – NHIA

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Director of Corporate Affairs at the National Health Insurance Agency (NHIA), Oswald Mensah, says the Agency is set to add mental health care to the national health insurance scheme.

According to him, mental healthcare will be added to the scheme by the end of the year.

He said this as part of conversation on JoyFM’s Top Story concerning renewed calls for the addition of kidney dialysis treatment to the national health insurance scheme.

Mr. Mensah said while the NHIA has received numerous requests to add several diseases to their benefits package, resources available to the Agency will not be enough to cover the expenses.

He added that for diseases to be added to the NHIS, a lot of actuarial studies would have to be carried out to see if the scheme will continue to be viable after.

“Several demands are being made to NHIA every day. We speak about prostate cancer because we do cover breast cancer and cervical cancer; the men also want to have their fair share of prostate cancer also covered. Mental health as we also know is also being considered.

“So hopefully by the end of this year mental health will also be covered under the scheme so we always have to balance the request versus that resources that are available.

“Since 2003 that the scheme was established we haven’t had much expansion on the benefit package until recently.

“About two years ago we had the inclusion of the four commonest childhood cancers that have been added on to the scheme and some family planning services. So we’re gradually expanding the package, but as I said it comes at a huge cost so we must be careful so that we can shoulder on,” he explained.

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