Minority Caucus on the Health Committee in Parliament is demanding an immediate release of funds to resuscitate the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to avoid its imminent collapse.
According to the Minority group, some negative practices by the Akufo-Addo led government such as undue delay in payment of Health Insurance Service Providers and the capping of earmarked funds including the NHIL, has generally put the country’s health sector into disarray and in particular rendered the NHIS useless.
Addressing a Press Conference in Parliament on Friday, February 28, 2020, the Ranking Member on the Health Committee, Kwabina Mintah Akandoh, bemoaned the fact that almost all key stakeholders who provide services for the NHIS are bleeding financially and are threatening to withdraw their services, while others have already withdrawn theirs.
Some of the stakeholders mentioned included: the Chamber of Pharmacy; Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) and Health Insurance Service Providers Association (HIPSAG), among others who are reported to be facing court actions for their inability to settle their indebtedness as a result of government’s delay in reimbursing them.
“The above named institutions have indicated that, they owe SSNIT, GRA and ECG due to delay in reimbursement by NHIA and this situation, they said was, much worrying. This is because, about 400 health facilities are in court for various reasons, such as failure of payment of their utility bills and inability to contribute SSNIT for their workers due to government’s failure to release NHI funds,” the Ranking Member indicated.
The Minority group was also concerned about the effect of the continued implementation of the Earmarked Funds Capping and Realignment Act 2017 (Act 947) on the health insurance scheme which they alleged was being used by the government to siphon monies from the NHI fund.
The group have blamed the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori Atta for the woes of the Health Insurance Scheme for depriving the scheme of the needed funds and his failure to adhere to the relevant laws to finance the NHIS including Section 52(2) of Act 852 which provides that “the Minister responsible for Finance shall present to Parliament every 6 months, report on payment of levies into the NHI fund.”
They have therefore called on the Akufo-Addo government to immediately pay in accordance with Act 852, all monies due service providers in the form of claims.
“Government has no excuse whatsoever to delay payment for such a long period except to say that government is hoarding the money for reasons best known to them. This is because, these monies are paid upfront as NHIL by every customer in this country. The question is, where is the money? The Ministry of Finance is hence to be blamed wholly for the collapse of the NHIS,” the Minority group indicated.
Source: Clement Akoloh || africanewsradio.com