Though the exact reason for his resignation is yet to be ascertained, it seems Nathaniel Otoo also caught the plague causing top government officials to resign from their positions, since the new government’s inception.
The Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Nathaniel Otoo has resigned from office. The NHIA boss announced his departure to his management staff last Monday after their bi-monthly meeting. There have been speculations among the media and the public regarding the possible reason behind his resignation. According to some sources, Nathaniel Otoo resigned due to fear of witch-hunting from the incumbent New Patriotic Party (NPP).
But some reports however, revealed that the NHIA CEO disclosed to some associates, his desire to pursue other career opportunities.
What to Know About the outgoing NHIA Boss
Nathaniel Otoo was not a newbie in the game when he was appointed. The outgoing NHIA boss had been an insider at the NHIA who played significant roles prior to his elevation. Mr. Otoo, a lawyer by training, joined the NHIA in 2006 from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) as the first Director of Administration and General Counsel of the Authority.
Among his many achievements, he was instrumental in the revision of the NHIS law, Act 650 to Act 852. In 2013, he was promoted to the position of Deputy Chief Executive of the NHIA in charge of Operations, where he supervised five key directorates including Management Information Systems, Quality Assurance, Research and Development, Private Health Insurance, and Provider Payments.
Until his appointment in 2015, Nathaniel Otoo was the Deputy Chief Executive responsible for Operations. He was appointed as the acting Chief Executive Officer of the Scheme in 2015, after the exit of the previous CEO, Mr Sylvester Mensa,; and was later confirmed as the substantive Chief Executive Officer by the Public Services Commission.
The outgoing NHIA boss, played key roles in positioning the NHIA as a promising public sector institution in Ghana. Mr. Otoo has always been seen as an analytical and calm headed person. He helped establish many of the units and departments of the fledgling health insurance scheme. He was a leader in lots of technological innovations which helped solve problems in the public sector.
According to reports, Nathaniel was the one who oversaw the introduction of the NAVIS member authentication application, a software developed in-house and sold to local banks to assist in their verification of customers who present the NHIS card as a form of identification.
Nathaniel also introduced the electronic premium banking and e-receipting at NHIA district offices where premiums are electronically receipted and collected by banks as a measure to block loopholes. This development was tested and reviewed by the Controller and Accountant General and was found efficient.
Before entering the health financing sphere, Mr Otoo had about 20 years of work experience which spanned the social security, manufacturing and trade promotion sectors. He holds a Masters’ Degree in International Relations from the International University of Japan, a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of Ghana and a professional qualification in law from the Ghana School of Law.
He is a board member at the Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HFRA) and also at National Identification Authority.
National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)
The NHIS was a major subject of discussion during the 2016 electioneering, as the major contending parties were at loggerheads on the current status of the scheme. Despite these differences, the NHIS which has become Ghana’s biggest social protection programme, efficiently serves many Ghanaians and its effectiveness is of interest to many.
Nathaniel Otoo leaves the scheme with a membership of 11 million, and utilization of 31 million.