Sylvester Mensah, NHIS Boss
Subscribers of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) who enjoy healthcare services at mission hospitals will be made to pay cash with effect from Wednesday, July 2, 2014.
This follows the decision by the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) to withdraw its services to subscribers of the NHIS because managers of the scheme are indebted to mission hospitals in excess of GH¢50 million.
There are 183 mission hospitals in the country which cater for about 42 per cent of the healthcare needs of the people, especially those in deprived communities.
A source at the CHAG said the association had all along been asking the NHIA to pay the arrears but that has not been done.
When contacted, the Executive Director of CHAG, Dr Gilbert Buckle, declined to comment on the decision by the association.
According to the source at the CHAG, however, public notices would be posted at mission hospitals to inform patients of the decision of the association to revert to the cash-and-carry system.
It said due to the rising cost of goods and services, high inflationary rates, the depreciation of the cedi against the major currencies and high utility bills, the delay in paying the huge amount owed had made things unbearable for the service providers.
‘If paracetamol cost GH¢1 in March 2014 and now costs GH¢2 and you have refused to pay the amount owed us today, then anytime the money will be paid, it will mean that the service provider will have to go for a loan to top up before paying its debtors.
‘We cannot afford even simple disposables. What do they want us to do? Fold up or what?’ the source asked.
It said most of the members of the association had been threatened with court action due to the huge sums of money they owed their suppliers.
Last year, the association resolved to withdraw its services because of the NHIS’s indebtedness to it but the Ministry of Health intervened and promised to ensure the settlement of the arrears.
Source: Donald Ato Dapatem
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