Pharmaceuticals To Suspend Medicine Supply To NHIS

The Ghana Chamber of Pharmaceuticals (GCP) on Monday declared the intention to suspend supply of medicines to hospitals under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) from February 10, 2014.

A GCP statement, signed by Mr Stanley Adjei, Head of Research and Advocacy, to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra, said the decision followed the failure on the part of the service providers under the NHIS to reimburse the distributors for medicines supplied.

The statement said some of the hospitals are in arrears for as far back as May/July, 2013.

The GCP said the inordinate delay in the reimbursement by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is impacting negatively on the financial strength as well as the survival of the distributors.

“Our members have resorted to borrowing from banks at 30 per cent interest rate and sometimes from microfinance institutions at interest rate of five per cent monthly in order to bridge the funding gap and sustain supplies to the hospitals,” it said.

The statement said the distributors were funding the health insurance scheme at a greater cost and that under the current financial difficulty its members were unable to meet their financial obligations to their banks and suppliers.

It said it was due to such difficulties that they had decided to suspend drug supplies to the health service providers under the NHIS until the full payment of all outstanding indebtedness to its members.

But Government on Monday said it has released money through the National Health Insurance Fund to service providers across the country.

A Ministry of Health statement signed by Mr Tony Goodman to the GNA said: “We hope that this will go a long way to provide quality healthcare to insurance card holders. It said the MOH was committed to supporting the activities of health insurance providers and other health facilities.