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Member of Parliament (MP) for Binduru Constituency in the Upper East region, Dr Robert Kuganab-Lem Baba, has accused the government of breaching the Act regulating the Health Insurance system in Ghana.
According to the Binduru lawmaker, government through the Finance Ministry has failed to account to parliament levies collected from the two and half percent VAT.
Dr Kuganab-Lem told journalists in an interview that the Minister of Finance is mandated by the Act to appear before the House every half year (6 months) to tell how much his outfit has collected but the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta has failed to honour this statutory provisions in the Act, he alleges.
He explained further that the Act also enjoined the Finance Minister to transfer all monies collected on behalf of NHIS to the schemes’ account after every 30 days yet the minister has failed to fulfill this statutory provisions in the Act.
According to him due to the failure on the path of the ministry to release funds into the scheme’s account, NHIS has not been able to pay service providers for over 15 months now.
The Binduru MP indicated the none availability of funds to pay service providers has negatively affected health care delivery in the country.
“Today persons attending medical centres on the NHIS ticket are faced with discrimination, abuse and exploitation through the sales of drugs to patients under the scheme and lately inability of the scheme to register new members as well as renew the registration of existing members,” he lamented.
“After few years of the implementation of the NHIS, public and external assistance to the scheme have declined, while private expenditure mostly out-of-pocket payment tripled, indicating an increase in financial strain on Ghanaians,” Dr Kuganab-Lem further revealed.
He however, warned that for the country to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC), it is important for Ghana to review and reform the health sector. Saying the health organization of every well developed country is built on having trained and motivated health work force, a well-maintained infrastructure, and a reliable supply of medicines and technologies, which is backed by adequate funding, strong health plans and evidence-based policies.
Source: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH