The National Health Insurance Scheme in Ghana: Prospects and Challenges: a cross-sectional evidence

  •  Freeman Gobah    
  •  Liang Zhang    


The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in Ghana was established by the National Health Insurance Act, 2003 (Act 650) and National Health Insurance Regulations, 2004 (L.I. 1809) with the view to improving financial access of Ghanaians, especially the poor and the vulnerable, to quality basic health care services and to limit out-of-pocket payments at the point of service delivery. This study is to assess the effect of the Scheme on access to and utilization of healthcare services in the Akatsi District of the Volta region of Ghana. Both qualitative and quantitative data was collected through face-to-face interview with 320 individuals and three service providers using structured questionnaires. The result show that age, level of education and occupation are major determinants of membership of the scheme. The scheme has a positive effect on health seeking behaviour and utilization of health care services by removing significant financial barriers to access. Lack of health insurance serves as a significant barrier to access to modern health care services. Increasing coverage and membership coupled with improvement in geographical access will promote better and overall health outcomes for the people of Ghana.

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