It was a give-and-take affair in Parliament House last Friday when it came to the debate on the State of the Nation Address given by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on February 20, 2020.
Whereas the Minority which had boycotted the Address and its subsequent debate rushed to Job 600 to hold a press conference on what they termed as “The collapsing trend of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)” earlier before the commencement of the debate on the address in the Chamber of the House, Hon. Samuel Atta Akyea, Member of Parliament (MP) for Abuakwa South did not spare his colleague NDC MPs when he was given the chance to debate the address.
Though known for his passionate and his non-partisan nature to national issues, especially when it comes to debates on the floor of the House, Hon Atta Akyea who also doubles as Minister for Works and Housing departed from this trend, and went hard on his absent colleagues, describing them as non-conformists, disrespectful and evil-inclined.
The soft-spoken MP, did not spare any NDC MP, and included even the leader and flag-bearer of the party, Mr. John Dramani Mahama.
While describing him as non-conformist and disrespectful, thus failing to give honour to whom honour is due, Hon. Atta Akyea could not phantom why he failed to attend the Address, which was well attended by all living Presidents as well as all the Three Arms of Government and Fourth Realm of the Estate (Media) as well as members of the Diplomatic Corps, Service Commanders and Personnel, Chiefs and all manner of people, Former President Mahama conspicuously absented himself from the all-important function.
He wondered whether it was the same presidential seat he wanted to ascend to was the same one he shunned and disrespected.
Based on these developments, Hon. Atta Akyea urged the voting Ghanaian population to equally shun him and his MPs in the 2020 presidential and General Elections.
He maintained that the President, Nana Akufo-Addo had not yet given his address, so there was no need for his colleague NDC MPS to have shunned him the way they did. But even given that it contained any evil, they ought to have listened attentively to it, so that they could have befittingly replied him at the appropriate time.
But ignoring all this glaring chances, meant that they were simply up to treachery and evil intents.
PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO IS A VISIONARY, TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADER
Describing the President as visionary and transformational leader, Hon. Atta Akyea indicated that the President had, within his three year term in office, been able to turn the country round thereby gaining international respect.
What is more, his policies, which are developmental and people centered are meant to transform the entire nation without political and tribal considerations.
He mentioned particularly, the mining of bauxite deposits in the country, which was going to rake in over $30 billion dollars to turn the country’s fortune round. He stressed that these mining activities are not going to degrade the environment since they are well advanced in nature.
While contemplating what this amount could do by way of development, he wondered how many houses his ministry could build across the country if the amount had come to it.
PRESIDENT IS MISLEADING, CONTRADICTORY, INSENSITIVE, MUST CROSS CHECK FACTS
Meanwhile, in the aforementioned press conference of the Minority, they described the President as contradictory, insensitive, misleading and charged him to cross-check his facts before coming public.
These charges were premised on their claim that the President gave contradictory and misleading facts to what service providers claimed, as a result of which they were going bankrupt and falling out of business.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, whilst major stakeholders and well-meaning Ghanaians have identified the potentially collapsed trend of the NHIS, the President, Nana Danquah Akufo-Addo on the other hand, keeps giving contrary positions on the status of the NHIS.
“For instance; the President stated in the SONA 2018 message that, the arrears choking the NHIS have been cleared and the health needs of the people are being served better, which is not the case because service providers are referring to debts from 2018. In fact, Most Rev. Joseph Afrifah – Ayekum said that NHIS implementation is getting worse as he chaired the 28th World Day of the Sick and Official Opening of St. Pauline Clinic. According to the Bishop, NHIS owed Christian Health care facilities about GH¢ 87 million covering the months of March to November, 2019, in some cases, outstanding claims span some months in 2018 with some remnants arrears from 2017 as well. He also stated that, the delay in reimbursement have worsened in the last year, revealing that it had moved from 7 months to between 12 to 15 months which affects quality health care delivery.
Again, the President in SONA 2019 said on page 9, paragraph 3 “today, our NHIS is buoyant. Government has paid up the 1.2 billion arrears we inherited and brought the operations of NHIS back to life”. Whilst he was referring to the NHIS as a buoyant one, there was a decline in active membership from 10.422 million in 2017 to 10.410 million in 2018.
He further asserted that, payment of the said arrears had brought the operations of NHIS back to life. Interestingly, page 24, paragraph 7.6, item 1 of the 2017 NHIS fund formula indicated that the unpaid claim arrears amounted to GH¢425.79 million, the President’s assertion is not supported by any document as far as we are concerned and this is misleading, we therefore cease this opportunity to advise the President to cross-check his facts before coming public.
Ladies and Gentlemen, whilst the key stakeholders in the health insurance industry re getting financially suffocated as a result of delay in payments of claims, the President, in the 2020 SONA at page 25, Para 3, line 4, described the NHIS as operating more adequately. This is a demonstration of insensitivity to the plights of service providers and beneficiaries.
Statement read by Hon. Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, Ranking Member on Health
Source: S. O. Ankamah