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The communication Director of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, has revealed that the insensitivity of the government is collapsing the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to the detriment of innocent Ghanaians.
He outlined a number of inconsequential and outrageous incidents that is happening under the scheme which would render it deplorable.
Sammy Gyamfi said this at a press conference dubbed “The Moment of Truth’ series held by the party on the topic: “The National Health Insurance Scheme is fast collapsing under the Akufo-Addo government.”
The Communication Director recounted the recent statement made by President Nana Akufo-Addo, during the State of the Nation Address and during his tour to the United States of America that the NHIS is buoyant and has come back to life.
He said, rather, the scheme is in a deplorable state and gasping for liquidity breath because it owes service providers in all the regions of claims covering a period of almost 12 months.
“Currently, the NHIS owes service providers in all the 16 regions of Ghana, claims covering a period of almost 12 months and has landed most health care facilities in distress,” he noted.
He made references to Daily Graphic newspaper report on March 28, 2019 which indicates that the Central regional hospitals are on their knees begging to be paid an amount of GHs 6.1 million owned by the scheme to settle the indebtedness to suppliers of critical drugs and medical consumables.
Gyamfi recalled the statement made again by government to have cleared a total amount of GHs 1.2 billion of National Health Insurance (NHI) arrears inherited from the erstwhile Mahama government but he stated that claim is mischievous and without facts.
He, however said, an indisputable evidence contained in the 2017 NHIS Fund allocation formula presented to Parliament in August shows a total arrears of GHs 425.79 million as at December, 2016. This belies the claims the President’s claim and exposes dishonesty.
“Another worrying trend is the fact that the actual release to the NHI fund has decline considerably, while at the same time government continues to collect more revenue in the name of NHIS,” he stated.
LOSS OF CONFIDENCE IN THE SCHEME.
Again, He said, there has been loss of confidence in the scheme as active membership continues to decline from 10, 786 million in 2016 to 10,422 million in 2017 to 10,410 million in 2018 within the last 2 years of governance, representing 39, 37 and 35 in percentage terms.
“The above statistics depicts a declining confidence of Ghanaians in the NHIS and exposes a dire straits that the scheme has been plunged into by Akufo-Addo government.” he added.
The amounts of money released to the fund are as follows GHs 742 million in 2016, 660.40 million 2017 and 506.80 million in 2018 which is a worrying trend though government collects more revenue in the name of NHIS.
INCREASE EXPENDITURE ON COMPENSATION
According to NDC communication Director, compensation to staff of National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) shows an astronomical increase within the short period of governance which indicates that government has paid a huge sum of compensation ranging from GHs 115 million in 2016, 132 million in 2017, 168 million in 2018 and 211.78 million in 2019 to staffs.
MISAPPROPRIATION OF NHI FUNDS
He noted that even though the best practice in the management of the NHI fund depicts the use of 75 to 80 percent of the accrued funds to finance the scheme, the current government is rather utilizing only 60.64 percent of NHI accrued funds for intended purpose.
“This points to the misapplication of NHI funds by Nana Akufo-Addo government as about GHs 163 million was used to pay nursing trainee allowance.” he stressed.
The Communicator again accused the government of transferring a huge sum of whooping GHs 17,548,377.20 to a private financial firm called All-Time Capital Limited in three tranches as investment.
” Nana Akufo-Addo, after assuming office, the NHIA, without due diligence and with indecent haste, transferred a whooping GHs 17,548,377.30 in three tranches to private financial house, All-Time Capital Limited, supposedly as investment.” he said.
He therefore called on all Ghanaians to form a united front to condemn such flagrant abuse of the scheme and said “the NDC will not renege on its responsibility of holding this government accountable in mismanaging the NHIS and the health sector.
Source: Nii Aflah Sackey