Erratic flow of government funds key health challenge in Upper West

Wa, Feb. 19, GNA – Erratic flow of government funds has been identified as the topmost challenge affecting the performance of the health sector in the Upper West Region.

The situation has been aggravated by the failure of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to reimburse health facilities for services rendered to clients.

About 96.5 percent of clients that access health care in 2014 were NHIS card bearers, indicating how severe the problem has been.

Dr. Abdulai Adams Forgor, the Upper West Regional Director of Health Services, revealed this at the 2014 Regional Annual Performance Review Conference in Wa on Wednesday.

He said as at the close of Decembe, 2014, most health facilities were paid only up to June 2014, adding that the NHIS had 14.2 million outstanding claims to pay to Ghana Health Service (GHS) facilities in the Region as at the end of the year under review.

He said the Scheme has just initiated the payment of July, 2014 claims to some health facilities.

Dr. Forgor commended health facility managers and District Health Directors for being able to keep their health facilities still operating with medicine and non-medicine consumables in the face of the excruciating financial difficulties facing them.

Mr. Titus Sory, the Regional Director of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), acknowledged the challenge but was quick to add that the government, through the Ministry of Finance, had released funds to the tune of 882 million Ghana cedis to the NHIA.

He said out of this amount the NHIA intended using 764 million Ghana cedis for payment of claims to service providers, adding that he had already received a message from headquarters that funds would be released to the Region for payment of claims before the end of February, 2015.

Mr. Sory said the Region in May, 2015 would hopefully move on to the capitation, adding that when that happened some of the challenges would be reduced.

Dr. Musheibu Mohammed Alfa, the Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, said the government would continue to implement pragmatic measures to improve on health delivery in the Region and the country at large.

GNA


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