Auditor General uncovers multi-million corruption at NHIA; CEO lumps blame on NPP


The Auditor General has uncovered financial malfeasance totaling millions of Ghana cedis at the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in its 2012 report

Titled “Report of the Auditor General on Public Accounts of Ghana – Public Boards, Corporations and other Statutory Institutions for the Year Ended 31 December 2012” , the audit revealed (on pages 211 to 272) hefty amounts of public funds were either diverted into non-existing investment accounts or withdrawn without a trace.

The report, which relates to the audited accounts of the NHIA for the period 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2009 noted in part: “An amount of GH¢158,526 purported to have been transferred by the NHIA to the Nanomba North Mutual Health Scheme could not be traced to the bank statement of the scheme.”

In another instance the Auditor General discovered a 2.4 million Ghana cedis difference between transfers recorded by the Bantama Mutual Health Insurance Scheme and the NHIA.

“We did not sight Gambaga Mutual Health Insurance Scheme receipts of an amount totalling GH¢70,295 being payment made to some service providers in 2008”, the report said.

The audit also found the withdrawal of 900,000 Ghana cedis from the claims account of the Oguaaman Mutual Health Insurance Scheme which was subsequently deposited into a purported investment account.  However, the Auditor General found no evidence of the existence of the account.

“We observed a difference of GH¢1,166,183 between revenue reported by the Denu Scheme as transfer from Head office and the amount reported by the Head office as transfers to the scheme” the report said in another section.

These revelations have come at a time when some health service providers are threatening to withdraw services to the health insurance scheme because of non-payment of claims.

The National Health Insurance Scheme itself has been complaining about lack of funds.

Recommendations in the audit include prosecution of officers of National Health Insurance Authority.

But speaking to the audit findings on Top Story on Joy FM Monday, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NHIA, Sylvestor Mensah, strenously maintained the year under review – 2008 and 2009 – was the era of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government even though the NPP left office in January 2009.

“The scheme that we inherited in 2009 was not operating efficiently”, Mr Mensah said.

But host of Top Story, Evans Mensah, pointed out to him that the audit report did not state the exact dates that the infractions identified were committed and that he could therefore not say with certainty that the previous government was responsible for the malfeasance.

Mr Mensah nonetheless insisted that the scheme under his leadership is making sure the inefficiencies in the NPP era are corrected.

The National Health Insurance Authority was established under the National Health Insurance Act 2003, Act 650, to ensure universal health insurance coverage in relation to persons resident in Ghana and persons not resident in the country but who are on a visit to this country  and to provide access to healthcare services to the persons covered by the Scheme.

Click on attached audio below to listen to the entire programme. Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | George Nyavor | [email protected]

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