Gov’t can’t tell when it will clear arrears of NHIS Service Providers

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Service Providers to the National Health Insurance Scheme in Ghana would have to wait a bit longer to recoup their investments since the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, is uncertain when his outfit would be able to clear all the arrears owed them by the Scheme.

According to the Minister, the scheme had so far accrued arrears of over Ghc1.2 Billion between January and March 2017 alone. He however revealed that some arrangements have been put in place to gradually reduce the arrears.

He made this known on the Floor of Parliament on Thursday when he appeared in the House to provide answers to some parliamentary questions pertaining to his sector.

A question filed by the Member of Parliament for Wa West constituency, Joseph Yieleh Chireh, had inquired when the National Health Insurance Authority would settle all the arrears owed to service providers.

“Mr. Speaker, with the above mentioned arrears that the Ministry has inherited from the previous government, it will be difficult for me to tell the House when exactly all the arrears will be settled. We would plead with all to have patience while we look for funds to clear all the arrears,” the Minister indicated in his answer.

Mr. Agyeman Manu also indicated that his outfit has been able to clear about nine months of the arrears through monthly releases of some funds to the service providers, however an overall outstanding indebtedness of the scheme still stands at 844 Million Cedis.

The Minister of Health, who is also the Honorable Member of Parliament for the Dormaa Central constituency, informed Parliament that the National Health Insurance Levy had accrued a little over Ghc 530 Million which was used to offset part of the indebtedness to the service providers.

“Mr. Speaker, the National Health Insurance Authority has from January to date received a total amount of Five-Hundred and Thirty-Nine Million, Eight Hundred and Fifty-three Thousand, One Hundred and Twenty Four Cedis, Twenty Nine Pesewas (GHC 539,853,124.29) from the Ministry of Finance and this has been disbursed to our numerous creditors including service providers, contractors, suppliers, etc,” he stated.

He added that his Ministry was not only indebted to service providers of NHIS but to other entities whose service impact the activities of the Ministry. Some of the indebtedness, he pointed out, were inherited from the immediate past administration.

“Mr. Speaker, apart from arrears owed to the providers under the NHIS, the Ministry of Health also owes over One Hundred Million Ghana Cedis (GHC 100,000,000.00) and this includes arrears of procurement of vaccines for 2016, GAVI Co-financing for 2016 for 2017, Global Fund indebtedness arising from audit recoveries among others.”

The Minister assured that his outfit is working tirelessly with the Ministry of Finance to clear the arrears.

“For now, the Ministry of Finance is releasing funds, one month in arrears in accordance with the NHIA Act, Act (852).

Source: Clement Akoloh || ghananewsonline.com.gh

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