Health News of 2014-03-18

Blame the woes of NHIS on gov't - Dr. Mahama

A former Flagbearer of the People’s National Convention and one of Ghana’s astute medical doctors, Dr. Edward Mahama, says government’s failure to pay all the NHIS levies for the running of the scheme is largely to blame for the challenges facing the health delivery system.

There are concerns that the NHIS is struggling to achieve its purpose due to the inability of the NHIA to pay claims to service providers on time. This is almost forcing out some health facilities that do not have the capacity to keep up with operational expenses for the periods their claims are in arrears.

It has also encouraged the co-payment system which the National Health Insurance Authority is battling to deal with.

But Dr. Mahama believes the anomalies in the payment of claims should be squarely blamed on government’s refusal to release statutory funds meant solely for the scheme. He believes Ghanaians are being shortchanged, especially when the citizens’ side of the bargain concerning the obligation to pay National Health Insurance Levies are being honored without the reciprocal obligation of government to release the funds.

“What I know for sure is that Ghanaians are paying their obligated 2.5% for the National Health Insurance. If you buy anything, the 2.5% of the VAT levy goes to the national health insurance but the Ministry of Finance is not paying the entire amount to the National Health Insurance Authority, and until they pay all that money, the scheme will struggle. My information is that they pay only 60% of the amount,” he divulged.

“The National Health Insurance Levy should be paid to the National Health Insurance Authority for onward transfer to the health providers,” he demanded.

He indicated that the NHIA was to be precluded from any blames as it behooved the finance ministry to release the funds due them under the law.

“If the National Health Insurance Authority is not able to pay me as a provider, I don’t blame them. I blame the Ministry of Finance because they should pay all their monies to them and if they mismanage it, then the Chief Executive and all his people should be fired,” he added.

The three-time PNC Presidential Candidate, who begun the campaign for the introduction of a national health insurance scheme in Ghana, tells Ultimate Radio until government pays all the NHIS levies to the Authority, the country will keep deceiving itself as the system continues to struggle.

Source: Ebenezer Afanyi Dadzie | Ultimate Radio
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