Ghana’s Health Insurance Scheme is now on Life Support – Hon Akandoh alleges
“Although the scheme has struggled since its inception to meet claims of active members to service providers, the recent misapplication of funds collected as levies and SSNIT contributions or other government projects in addition to increased non-core activities of the fund, has placed the fund into medical comatose,”
The Ranking Member on the Health Committee of Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, has alleged that per details available to the Committee, the National Health Insurance Scheme can only be described as a Fund on Life Support. “This is a fund which is clearly on life support,” he stated, adding that “The scheme is gradually becoming a white elephant.
He said this on Tuesday at a Press Conference in Parliament House in Accra.
According to the Minority spokesperson on Health, the National Health Insurance Scheme under the current New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is in a complete state of comatose.
He said the President who criticized the scheme under the erstwhile John Mahama administration while he was in opposition has come to mismanage the scheme by starving it of the needed funds leading to its eventual collapse.
“Although the scheme has struggled since its inception to meet claims of active members to service providers, the recent misapplication of funds collected as levies and SSNIT contributions or other government projects in addition to increased non-core activities of the fund, has placed the fund into medical comatose,” he noted.
He is of the view that the actions of this Government are undermining the crucial objective of the National Health Insurance Scheme when he observed that a study of the National Health Insurance Fund Allocation Formula for 2022 shows that of the GHC 2.056billion collected from Ghanaians as NHIL in 2021, only GHC 127.47million or 6 percent of the total collected was released by this Government to address obligations of the year.
According to him, “Under President Akufo-Addo, lodging of the NHIL and 2.5 percent of SSNIT contributions into the National Health Insurance Fund has been left to the dictates of the Finance Minister in contravention of section 52(1) of the National Health Insurance Act 852.”
The Act states that, “The Minister responsible for Finance shall within thirty days after collection of the levy cause the levy to be paid directly into the fund and furnish the Minister responsible for Health and the Authority with evidence of the payment.”
The Ranking Member revealed that the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta has not accounted to Parliament bi-annually (every 6 months) as required by section 52(2) which also states that “The Minister responsible for Finance shall present to Parliament every six months a report on payment of levies into the Fund.”