National Health Insurance can cover kidney diseases – CEO, Dr Okoe Boye

Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has said that it should not be difficult for the scheme to cover the treatment of kidney diseases if certain measures are initiated.

Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, NHIA boss

He lamented in an interview with Joy FM that dialysis was too expensive for most people with renal diseases to handle on their own, as many of them might not be able to afford these treatments.

His comments follow suggestions by some analysts that the National Health Insurance Scheme should be funded sufficiently to be able to bear the cost of kidney condition treatments.

“As a country, I can tell you boldly, if we are committed, we can pay totally for kidney care,” Dr Okoe Boye acknowledged.

Elaborating on his point of view, he cited the setting up of a ‘chronic disease fund or the peripheral disease fund’ as one of three important measures that could help alleviate the predicaments of kidney disease patients in Ghana.


“First of all, politically we have been going back and forth on funding to NHIS. Kenya even pays for kidney transplants. The reason is very simple, 90% to 95% of the funds are directly with them.

“Secondly, we can put some levy referred to as syntax on some one or two products which are normally not consumed by the ordinary person but by people in a particular class and the inflows on that can go into a fund not necessarily with National Health Insurance.

“It can be the chronic disease fund or the peripheral disease fund which would go to the departments that take care of kidney care and other conditions like cardio diseases so that instead of the GHȼ700 cedis that is been looked at, you can retain GHȼ200 because GHȼ500 cedis has been paid for by this fund.

“Thirdly, we as a country can come together to take away all the taxes on any item that goes into kidney care. We can look at two or three consumables that affect the pricing and the state can procure them directly,” quotes Dr Okoe Boye as having said.

After the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital’s renal unit closed for more than five months until a few days ago, discussions about how to enhance renal services had been in the headlines for a while.


Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Kweku Agyemang Manu has disclosed that the Finance Ministry has approved funds for the clearance of a GHC4 million debt which forced the country’s premier hospital’s renal unit to shut down.


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