The minority through it parliamentary select committee on Health is appealing to government to settle arrears owed National Health Insurance Scheme to save it from a total collapsing.
At a press conference chaired by Member of Parliament for Juaboso, Kwabena Minta Akando, the minority caucus revealed that the scheme is currently owing service providers over ¢87 million for the past 15 months. A challenge which is negatively affecting their operations and has compelled service providers to withdrawn their services.
“Government has no excuse or what so ever to hoard payment for such a long period except to say that government is hoarding the money for reasons best known to them. Because these monies are paid upfront as national health insurance levy by every customer in this country. The question is, where is the money?”
The minority noted that, the challenges are enormous such that almost all key stakeholders in the NHIS are financially ‘bleeding’ and threatening to withdraw their services; naming Chamber of Pharmacy, Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) and Health Insurance Service Providers Association (HIPSAG), among others.
Mr. Akando revealed that, the chamber of pharmacy which provides pharmaceutical products and other medical consumables to health care providers under the NHIS have withdrawn their services and have indicated that any health facility owing them for more than 3 months could no longer enjoy services till payment guarantees are provided.
He added that the development is adversely affecting the NHIS and what any responsible government would have done is to calm the situation by assuring service providers of prompt payment and make frantic efforts to do same
“We have some laws in this county that are destroying the health insurance…Capping is the first one…This is because when the levies are taken by government for the health insurance scheme, a deduction is made. That deduction is taken from the money that most people claim is inadequate.
“So on paper, we know in 2017, the government deducted about four hundred and nineteen million, an amount that could have been used to settle all the service providers. Every year, the government deducts money and we believe if that capping is avoided, the scheme will survive.”
The Juaboso MP further revealed that government through the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta has refused to pay arrears, which in turn is ‘seriously affecting the scheme and also also collapsing it’.
Source: Angelfmonlinegh.com |