The Minority in Parliament is warning of the imminent collapse of the National Health Insurance Scheme.
According to the Minority, the impact of the law that caps funds that flow into the National Health Insurance Fund and the non-settlement of claims are bringing the health sector to its knees.
The Ranking Member on the Health Committee of Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, addressing the press, called for the immediate payment of NHIS arrears.
“Whiles the industry is getting financially suffocated as a result of a delay in the claims, the president, during the 2020 State of The Nation address, described the National Health Insurance as working adequately. This is a demonstration of insensitivity to the plight of the service providers and the beneficiaries.”
“One more way by which the NHIS is being collapsed is the introduction of the year mark funds capping and realignment Act 2017, 947 and we have insisted that the NHIS must be taken off it and must not be capped. The beneficiaries of the NHIS and service providers are handicapped today because of this capping law and the NHIS is on the verge of collapse. We, therefore, call for immediate settlement of the arrears to the service providers.”
The minority also appealed for some restraint from the protesting service providers.
“It has come to our attention that some service providers have decided to withdraw their services from the National Health Insurance Scheme although we share in their plights, we are appealing to them for the sake of the ordinary Ghanaian whiles we request for the government to honour its part of the contract with immediate effect.
The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) had earlier raised concerns over the government’s failure to promptly pay National Health Insurance claims to health facilities across the country.
The association said the issue of a delayed payment of claims needs to be addressed with immediate effect to avert the possibility of reverting to the ‘cash and carry’ system.
The Health Insurance Service Providers Association of Ghana (HISPAG) threatened to withdraw some of its services from March 2020 if arrears owed its members by the government through the National Health Insurance Scheme is not paid.
‘Strong and robust NHIS’
Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, speaking to some Ghanaians in Norway as part of his 12-day working visit to Europe has described the NHIS as strong and robust.
“Three or four years ago, when you provide your National Health Insurance Scheme card to the hospitals, they will ignore it and say, you have to pay. So we had to go out of our way with careful husbandry and prudent management to pay off the indebtedness to get the service back on track. I can say that today, we are currently on the NHIS.”
“In fact, between 2016 and now, we have increased the membership by over two million more subscribers and all this is an indication our country is working again,” the President said.
No more credit to NHIS institutions
In line with the protests, the Chamber of Pharmacy Ghana says it will continue to enforce its decision not to supply medicines on credit to National Health Insurance accredited health facilities.
According to the Chamber, it will only rescind its decision until service providers pay their debts in full.
It resorted to this course of action to forestall any potential repercussions on the companies under the Chamber, from the delayed reimbursement by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) through the Health Service Providers.
by Ernest Arhinful