The Minority has expressed concerns over the use of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) funds for what it calls unnecessary programmes.
According to the Minority Spokesperson on Health, Kwabena Mintah Akandor, the allocation of NHIS funds of about GHC 5 million for corporate social responsibility amounts to nothing but wasteful spending at a time the scheme is struggling.
The scheme has reportedly also allocated GHC 300 million for ICT infrastructure, GHC 10 million for restructuring among other allocations.
“A lot of things are going on at the NHIA that we need to come together and fight. Will you believe that almost every region, the NHIA owes them. Just yesterday, the Daily Graphic reported that the Cape Coast Hospital was in distress and almost every region was owing three months, four months and in some cases five months. And the amount of money the NHIA is investing in other non-core functions is amazing.
“We [NHIA] are putting not less than 300 million into ICT. We are putting not less than 5 million into social corporate responsibility. If you look at the formula, they said they need GHC 10 million for restructuring. After budgeting more than 300 million for ICT, what kind of restructuring again are they talking about? It is quite alarming. They are now deducting money from the NHIS to fund these programmes. As I speak to you now, we did not get an assurance from the Minister to settle these arrears. It will interest you to know membership for the NHIS is gradually reducing. People are simply losing interest in the NHIS,” Mr. Akandor said on Eyewitness News.
His comments come in the wake of concerns by the Cape Coast Hospital over the non-payment of health insurance claims running into millions of Ghana cedis.
The Daily Graphic gathered that the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) owes the CCTH GH¢6.175 million for services the facility rendered to patients under the NHIS.
The amount represents eight months (May to December last year) of claims submitted to the NHIA.
The acting CEO of the NHIA, Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby, however, downplayed the GHc 6.175 million debt owed the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital (CCTH).
“I think it’s not as dire as it is being made out to be,” Dr. Dsane-Selby said on the Citi Breakfast Show.
The GHc 6.175 million represents costs for six months, she also noted.
“We must remember that their monthly bill is close to a million cedis so that that GHc 6 million is around six months so it is not as if we owe years and years.”
Dr. Dsane-Selby assured that the authority was actively settling debts but focusing on more pressing health facilities in the short term.
“The last batch of money, we prioritized CHPS [Community-Based Health Planning and Services] health centres and maternity homes because they tend to be in the deprived and underserved areas.”
By: Marian Ansah/citinewsroom.com/Ghana