Accept NHIS Card Holders—MoH Begs

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has stepped into the impasse between National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) and the service providers over the non-payment of claims asking the service providers to accept NHIS card holders at their facilities.

A statement issued by the Public Relations Unit of the ministry said the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is still the best option to health financing.

Various healthcare providers and organisations have over the past months threatened to withdraw services to NHIS card holders over unpaid claims owed them by the authority which is running into over GH¢500 million.

NHIS service providers, Ghana Health Service (GHS), Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), the Society of Private Medical and Dental Practitioners (SPMDP) and the Ghana Registered Midwives Association (GRMA) had threatened to turn away cardholders over non-payment of claims by the NHIA.

The MoH, however, stated that notwithstanding the various challenges currently being faced by the Authority, it is collaborating with the other agencies in the health sector to ensure quality healthcare.

According to the statement, it was agreed at the meeting that all the aggrieved parties should endeavour to accept the NHIS card wherever possible.

‘All parties at the meeting pledged their efforts to guarantee the long term sustainability of the health insurance scheme and their passion to build a world class health insurance scheme,’ it said.

Following that decision, the MoH convened a meeting of chief executive officers of the various teaching hospitals in Tamale, Cape Coast, Korle Bu and Komfo Anokye, the director general of Ghana Health Service (GHS) as well as the SPMDP, chaired by the deputy minister of health.

In 2013, claims payment made by the NHIA reached GH¢785.64 million with the Chief Executive, Sylvester Mensah, indicating that the scheme spends GH¢3 million a day on healthcare bills for its members across the country.

Due to over seven months indebtedness of the NHIA to all healthcare providers, health institutions are unable to maintain the basic quality of care required of them.

By Angela Dzidzornu

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