National health insurance heading for collapse, says Minority; NHIA rubbishes

The Minority has made stark prediction that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is set to collapse due to its poor handling by government, but that claim has been rejected by managers of the scheme.

The Minority told Joy News, refusal of the Finance Ministry to transfer funds to service providers such as hospitals and pharmacies is impeding efforts to put the scheme back on its feet, after complaints that service providers were sending subscribers away.

 They also accused the Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, of refusing to transfer levies and SSNIT contributions made by Ghanaians to the NHIA as stipulated in the National Health Insurance Act 2003, Act 650.

A member of the Health Committee in Parliament, William Sabi, who addressed a news conference Wednesday said a decision by the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) as well as the Chamber of Pharmacy to stop extending health service to clients of the NHIS, are clear signs of danger ahead.

CHAG and Chamber of Pharmacy are among the biggest NHIA service providers.

Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, has been sharing with the media documents he claims are confidential exchanges between the Chief Executive of NHIA, Sylvester Mensah, and the Finance Minister on the impending collapse of the scheme.

According to him, Mr Sylvester Mensah is in distress.

“I know the letters that he’s been writing; really crying for help to sustain the scheme, which he [Mr Mensah] admits is collapsing. It’s collapsing because of non-availability of funds”, he said.

The Minority Leader alleged that when funds are relayed into the Consolidated Fund, the Finance Minister then disburses it to areas he deemed more important – like the payment of judgment debts – to the neglect of other endeavours such as the health insurance scheme.

“Which explains why releases to GETFund, the Health Administration will not go and will be in arrears”, he emphasized.

However, reacting to the claims, NHIA’s Communications Director, said the Minority are only raising a false alarm.

Selorm Adornoo said on the Midday news Wednesday that key performance indicators of the scheme since 2013 proves the scheme is rather headed for better days.

“A scheme which is about to collapse will not have about 10.1 million people on it today. A scheme which is about to collapse will not record the utilization of 27.4 million people of visits in 2013. A scheme which is about to collapse will not witness the number of people who daily troop to our centres to register for the biometric system that we are introducing”, said Selorm.

He said it is “unfair” for the Minority to use only one factor out of many as basis for predicting the collapse of the scheme.

The attached is the full submissions by both the Minority (first part) and the NHIA on claims that the health scheme is headed for a collapse: Story by Ghana | | George Nyavor | [email protected]

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