There are a number of categories through which the National Health Insurance (NHI) framework determines who is insured in the country and which benefits they receive. The NHI revolves around three main pillars: public, private and voluntary. The type of insurance determines whether the individual is included or excluded from the scheme.
The first pillar considers the coverage of a health insurance scheme. A hospital may be categorized as either Public or Private depending on its funding and ownership structure. If you are looking to join an ideal health insurance plan, keep reading this article to know about different types of hospitals that are covered by National Health Insurance.
Public Hospitals Under NHIF
Public hospitals are the most common hospital category to be covered by National Health Insurance (NHI) in Ghana. These hospitals are typically owned by the government, with funding coming from taxes or fees. The staff at these institutions are all employed by the state and no private sector is involved in their operation.
Private Hospitals Under NHIF
According to NHI Act, private hospitals are those that depend on donations, grants and/or other sources of investment for their operation. Private hospitals do not charge users for services rendered on a per-service basis but rather a range of charges for total service packages
Voluntary Hospitals Under NHIF
These types of health institutions operate independently of NHI and seek funding from either donors or for-profit companies. According to National Health Insurance Act, voluntary hospitals will receive NGO status when all their revenues originate from external sources without any financial support from the government
Private Hospitals Under NHIF
Private hospitals are the most common type of hospital in the country and are typically owned by a single person, a small group of people, or a foundation. Private hospitals charge patients directly for their services which means they make their own decisions on the pricing of these services. There is no limit to the amount of money that can be charged for private hospitals. Patients who can afford these prices can simply pay for their services with cash and get treated at any private hospital.
Voluntary Health Organisations (VOHOs)
One of the most important health insurance types is Voluntary Health Organisations (VOHOs). These organizations are not mandatory to join but they provide a wide range of different benefits for their members.
The Voluntary Health Organisations are also known as Not for Profit Organisations and their membership includes people who do not have health insurance.
Different benefits offered by VHOs include:
– Medical treatment – Benefits may vary depending on the VHO; some may offer free medical treatment, others may charge a fee.
– Rehabilitation – They offer rehabilitation services such as physical therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy.
– Pharmaceuticals – Some coverage through VHOs may cover pharmaceuticals like drugs or medicines.
– Hygiene aids/clothing – VOHOs give members hygiene aids like soap, shampoo and toothbrushes.
– Consultation – Members of a VHO can visit a specialist at no cost to them and they can also consult with nurses who are trained in the management of chronic diseases like diabetes or hypertension (with certain conditions).
What About Specialised & Critical Care Hospitals?
The second pillar is voluntary. Voluntary hospitals are a new category brought in by the NHI to accommodate for the lack of public hospital coverage in some areas of the country. These hospitals cater to individuals who may not have access to state-funded health care services and are usually run by private entities.
The third pillar is public. Public hospitals cater to anyone with an NHI card, regardless of whether they are privately insured or not. The public hospital network includes all tertiary care facilities, both teaching ones and specialist ones, as well as primary healthcare units and community health clinics; it also includes certain types of psychiatric facilities. It has been noted that a number of these hospitals receive their funding from different sources other than the national budget, with some of them being funded by local governments, private organizations and philanthropic groups. However, at present there is no state-run facility which meets this definition.
There are more than 150 tertiary care hospitals across Nigeria as listed below:
• Lagos Specialist Hospital, Lagos
• Yaba General Hospital, Lagos
• University College Hospital, Ibadan
• University College Hospital, Ilorin
• Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital Zaria
• Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital Gusau • Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital Kaduna
• Korle Bu Teaching Hospitals Akure/Ekiti/Isholand/Ondo (Korle
Important Things You Should Know about Hospitals Covered by NHIF
In general, private hospitals are those owned by the employer and funded by the employer. Private hospitals provide services that are usually provided in a for-profit fashion. On the other hand, public hospitals are funded by the government. Public hospitals sometimes have a limited range of services but they offer discounted rates to patients who reside in the same country.
The second pillar of the NHI is voluntary insurance coverage. This refers to health care plans that you purchase on your own without any form of mandatory requirements from the government or an employer. Voluntary insurance would not be regulated by National Health Insurance and thus would not qualify as benefits under this scheme.
The third pillar is private or public funding sources, which determines whether or not someone is eligible for National Health Insurance. If you are looking to join a health insurance plan, it’s important to know whether they are covered under NHI before purchasing the plan because your plan might either be completely excluded or require payment out of pocket if it’s voluntary coverage and not regulated by National Health Insurance scheme.
NHIF is a health-insurance scheme that is offered to Ghanaians who are not covered by any other health insurance scheme.
The National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) covers a wide range of hospital categories and this article gives a list of the major categories covered by NHIF. They are Public Hospitals, Private Hospitals, Voluntary Health Organisations, Specialised and Critical Care Hospitals, and so on. These hospitals can be found in the public or private sector. The article also includes information about what patients should know before visiting these hospitals.