The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has explained the basis for donating an amount of GHS250,000 to the COVID-19 National Trust Fund.
The Authority has received backlash from Ghanaians after it took the step in supporting the fight against the novel coronavirus on Wednesday.
Although its Manager of Communications and Media Relations of NHIA, Barimah Sarpong had earlier said the donation was for a “worthy cause“, the Authority in a statement issued by the Corporate Affairs Directorate said the move was backed by the National Health Insurance ACT, 2012 (ACT 852) Section 40 which further details the objective of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).
The statement read, “Section 40 (2 c & d) states, amongst others, that the NHIF is to facilitate the provision of or access to health care services and to invest in any other facilitating programme to promote access to health service. Furthermore, the NHIS was set up as a solidarity system to make public healthcare affordable. Public healthcare support includes payments for vaccines, immunisation, and malaria prevention amongst others. In light of this, it was deemed appropriate to support COVID-19 efforts by the government. This does not, in any way, relegate the payment of claims to the background.”
It further explained that the donation to the COVID-19 Fund forms parts of its responsibility to the country.
“The NHIA’s donation of GHS250,000 to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, though significant, represents less than 5% of the entire Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Budget for 2020. Indeed, it is equivalent to 0.06% of funds paid in claims this year, which amounts to approximately GHS400 Million to healthcare providers as claims reimbursement,” the statement added.
Segbefia blasts NHIA
Former Health Minister, Alex Segbefia has chastised the National Health Insurance Authority for donating the said amount to the COVID-19 National Trust Fund.
Speaking on Breakfast Daily on Citi TV, Alex Segbefia, said the decision to donate was a bad one.
“I disagree with that. I know it’s a judgement call. I listened to the gentleman from NHIA and he made it clear that this was funding from a separate source in terms of what they could use the money for. But in terms of judgement call, I think it’s a bad judgement call. If you are in the health sector, already because all the funds should be going to help the health sector and the NHIA is part of the health sector, they do not need to be contributing to this fund. Very importantly, they look at the issues from a nationals perspective,” he remarked.