GMA signs historic insurance deal with Premier Health


Doctors across the country and their immediate family members will soon enjoy ‘free’ medical care anytime they visit the hospital.

This follows a landmark health insurance policy signed between the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) and the Premier Health Insurance, one of Ghana’s biggest health insurance companies.

The landmark policy was announced at the GMA’s just ended Annual General Meeting.

According to the outgoing GMA President Dr. Frank Ankobea, the policy will help solve multiple problems of access, equity and affordability of health delivery services to doctors across the country.

With this new policy, members of the GMA, both in public and private practice across the country will be entitled to medical care and all health delivery services in any health facility of their choice without having to cough up huge medical expenses at the point of access.

This will be made possible because the Association through its members will pay reasonable annual premiums to Premier Health Insurance.

According to Dr Frank Ankobea, this policy is the first ever insurance policy by the GMA as a body in the fourth Republican constitution.

Poor Working Conditions

The GMA has over the last couple of years complained about the poor working conditions which hamper productivity by its members. Several appeals to government to secure the health needs of doctors who give their all to save lives but have little to save themselves when they get sick have fallen on deaf ears. Some of these complains have resulted in industrial actions which have had a debilitating impact on Ghanaians

Dr Ankobea said health workers, particularly doctors, who are the custodians of health care delivery in Ghana, are measured and assessed by what the public perceive to be ‘people-centred’ care but very little attention is given to the care doctors receive when they or their family members are sick.

“It is for this reason that our team entered into this partnership with Premier Health Insurance,” the GMA president said, adding, “this policy will in many significant ways address a major challenge for doctors who break their necks everyday caring for patients, and yet when they are down with sickness they are forced, and sometimes struggle to raise the cost of medical expenses for themselves and their immediate family members.”

“We have lost some members in the past because when the sickness struck, they were unable to pay upfront the cost of health delivery services,” he pointed out.

Historic Policy

Even though individual doctors have health insurance policies, this is the first time the GMA, as a body, will be implementing such a policy for the benefit of all doctors and their family members. The outgoing GMA president said this health insurance policy is a just-in-time legacy project they intend to bequeath to all doctors after they leave office.

Under the new policy, doctors are expected to pay the premiums at least to set the policy in motion, but Dr Ankobea was quick to alert government of its promises to secure the welfare and health needs of doctors.

“Indeed this is a bold step we have taken but the government can at least meet us half way with the premiums, in line with the promises government has made in the past,” he reiterated.

Explaining the processes under which Premier Health Insurance was selected to champion this health insurance policy, Dr Ankobea said GMA invited bids from the major health insurance companies.

“After a thorough assessment of all the bids we realized Premier Health insurance offered the most competitive bid, which was equitable and affordable,” he added.

He believed this policy is a major step forward towards improving the health and welfare of the over 5,000 members across the country.

Premier Health

Chief Executive Officer of Premier Health Insurance, Mr Percy Asare-Ansah said the partnership with GMA could not have come at a better time.

The company is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year and Mr Ansah believes the partnership with GMA is testament of Premier’s track record in managing health insurance needs of its clients over the last decade.

He said it was always a bother to him that doctors who are the major stakeholders in the health delivery system and give more for clients to get well, are always given less when they become patients themselves.

“My team and I have always been thinking around a policy that will meet the health needs of doctors and so we were not entirely surprised that our bid grabbed the attention of the GMA.

And given the fact that we already have a seamless package with teachers across the country, it was relatively easy drafting an impressive package for doctors as well,” Mr Ansah added.

He promised that his team will manage the policy to the admiration of GMA and hopefully would attract other public sector workers as well.

Source: Daily Mail GH

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