- Government is putting in place measures to tax alcoholic beverages as well as tobacco products
- This is to help raise money to fund the National Health Insurance Scheme
Information available to YEN.com.gh suggests that the government is ready to tax alcoholic and tobacco companies in a bid to finance the operations of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).
This is due to the fact that the NHIA has run into financial challenges and is in dire need of financial support.
Speaking at a media brief in the Upper West Regional capital, Wa, the the Regional Director of the Scheme, Abass Suleymana, shed light on the matter.
He stated that the proposal to tax alcohol and tobacco is one of the ways being considered for funding.
“We are exploring ways to improve revenue sources for the scheme, and this is one of the proposals,” Mr Suleymana said at the event which also coincided with the scheme’s regional mid-year review.
Suleymana stressed that financial sustainability of the scheme and delays in reimbursement of service providers due to huge volumes and values of claims were two of the challenges that confronted the scheme’s operation.
Other challenges of the scheme, he noted, were illegal charges on insured members and the high cost of medicines.
Taxes on tobacco and alcohol, sometimes cynically referred to as sin taxes, have proven a worthwhile revenue source for many governments because of their inelastic demands, that is, where a change in price, even if it is an increase, does not occasion a corresponding decrease in demand.
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