Saturday, December 4, 2010

NHIS In Ghana - 2

It was very interesting to read that the Minister of Health has admitted that the onetime premium policy for the NHIS is not viable. In fact the report claimed that the NHIS scheme will go bankrupt by 2013 if some additional funds are not found to keep it alive. I feel vindicated all over again. I have been talking about the impossibility of the onetime premium payment since it was announced and I have written about it on this blog. I applaud the Health Minister for having the courage to admit the obvious. It may cost him his position eventually, but at least he would have satisfied his conscience that he did the right thing by speaking the truth and defending the constitution instead of toeing the party line.  It is important that we stand by the Minister instead of vilifying him to embolden others like him to speak up. There are many people in places of power who know very well that they are on the wrong side of the issues they so doggedly defend every day. Yet they continue to do so just for their personal convenience.
As our elders say, “he who makes the path does not know that it is crooked”. Sometimes it takes others to point out your mistakes and advice on what path leads to the ‘light’. That is what all the men who surround the president and his top policy guys are supposed to do. Unfortunately these men turn out to be the worst enemies of the president.  Their preoccupation is their stomach. The many silly policies which have littered Africa since the dawn of independence are testimonies to the irrelevance of these men who surround African leaders. They nod ‘yes sir’ even when they know very well that what they are supporting is very wrong.
One of my favorite authors Kenneth Ashworth pointed out that, “Sycophancy is like elephantiasis. The longer it goes untreated the more stolid and immobile it makes you”. The NHIS scheme is too important to play politics with it. The men who surround the president should please speak up if they want the good of the president and the party, for the party that preside over the death of the NHIS will pay dearly in many elections to come. History will also judge harshly the president under whose watch the beginning of the end of the NHIS started. For proponent of the onetime payment policy, it is alright to admit for once that they were wrong. I don’t even know why African Politicians find it so difficult to admit when they are wrong. Yes, the opposition may capitalize on such admission and maybe eventually win power. But what most politicians fail to realize is that truth is the most mind altering drug, not some cocaine or weed. Once people know the truth, it changes their minds and their thinking forever.
Please, let us boldly go out there and with solid reasons explain to the people that the onetime payment plan is not going to work. Once the people understand the stakes, they will have the clarity of thought to make the tough decisions.