General News of Tuesday, 3 March 2015
Ghana is inching towards a return to the dreaded cash-and-carry-system Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) Dr. Justice Yankson has revealed.
According to him, hospitals across the country have run into complete bankruptcy due to failure by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to pay claims made by service providers.
The claims are said to be in arrears for several months with no thorough explanation from the Authority.
Dr Yankson painted a gloomy picture about how hospital facilities have ground to a halt and have been left with no option than to turn away holders of NHIS cards.
Dr Kennedy Brightson, a Medical Director of Shai Osu-Doku hospital at Dodowa said the last time they received payment from the NHIA was the first quarter of 2014.
He said he is virtually chased around by his suppliers, a situation that has left him unstable.
The GMA had early on issued a statement saying the Authority owed some hospitals in the Greater Accra region in excess of 18 million cedis, while debts owed hospitals in the Ashanti Region including the Manhyia District Hospital and the Kumasi South Regional Hospital, run into more than four million cedis.
Deputy General Secretary of the Association later told Joy News the situation has become “unbearable” to the affected hospitals.
He said doctors sometimes have to dip their hands into their pockets to pay for services of patients.
“We cannot do our clinical work. The situation is becoming unbearable.
“Patients are not able to get consultations. It is becoming problematic. We are suffering,” he lamented
He said they made all contacts with powers that be to find out exactly what the problem is but nothing substantial has been said.
He found it even more intriguing that the NHIS levy, a statutory fund which people automatically pay any time they buy any commodity that has an NHIS levy on it will still be in arrears for several months.
“We are back to cash and carry,” he said, adding the “GMA has hit a wall” in trying to solve the problem.