Ministry orders NHIA to pay debt owed Korle Bu

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has been asked by the Ministry of Health to reimburse the debt it owes the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), as part of measures to save the hospital from its current financial crisis.

The NHIA is indebted to the hospital to the tune of about GH¢6 million. 

The directive was given at an emergency meeting in Accra on Thursday, following a petition the Senior Staff Association (SSA) of the hospital presented to the Minister of Health to help salvage the hospital from its financial difficulties.

The SSA, in its petition, called on the minister to as a matter of urgency, direct the NHIA to reimburse the hospital.

While confirming the directive, the Public Relations Officer of the hospital, Mr Mustapha Salifu, agreed that the NHIA’s debt was not the only cause of the hospital’s crisis.

He said the government’s policy under which the hospital was asked to take over the responsibility of paying some staff salary arrears was a major cause of the current financial situation of the hospital.

He however added that ‘if the NHIA had not delayed in the payment for services it had provided to its subscribers, the hospital’s financial situation would have been better than it is now.’

Repayment Strategy
For his part, the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Health, Mr Tony Goodman, said it seemed there was no consensus between the NHIA and the hospital on the claims the hospital had presented to the health insurance body.

He said as a result, the two institutions had been directed to meet yesterday to iron out their differences and mutually agree on the strategy for the reimbursement.

Reacting to the issues, the Communications Manager of the NHIA, Mr Selorm Adonoo, said the authority would adhere strictly to the ministry’s directive .

The KBTH is reported to be facing financial difficulties as its expenditure far outweighed its revenue between January and July this year. 

The SSA of the hospital, in reaction to a financial statement, presented a petition to the sector ministry, calling on it to resolve the issue immediately.

The petition blamed the immediate past acting Chief Executive of the hospital, Reverend Albert O. Botchway, and the Board Chairman, Mr Edward Annan, for ‘erratic and non-core expenditure’. 

It said although the association had warned of a financial meltdown, Rev. Botchway and Mr Annan ‘kept making contrary and false claims’. 

‘At the moment, many machines in the Radiology Department are not working and the hospital will not be able to meet its financial commitment to staff, suppliers and contractors who have been contracted to provide various essential services,’ it added.

It said the situation was also likely to undermine healthcare delivery at the hospital. 

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