General News of Saturday, 10 November 2018
Vice President Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia has said government is considering automatic transfer of funds to the account of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to ensure prompt payment of claims.
“If we are to stop the movement towards cash and carry as we saw before, we have to make sure we stop the accumulation of arrears and make sure that the reimbursement to the stakeholders are done on a timely basis so we are looking at this whole issue and we’ve had this discussion to just see why we can’t get this automatic in the transfer of funds directly to the NHIA account”.
The Vice President said the move is part of measures being explored to avert near collapse of the NHIA as left by the previous NDC administration.
According to him,”the NHIS has suffered great neglect and blatant mismanagement ” adding that “our government inherited a suffocating debt of Ghc1.2 billion with service providers threatening to revert to cash and carry policy. Since we have been in office, this Ghc1.2billion debt we inherited, which covered from 2014 ,2015 and 2016 has now been fully paid off”.
The Vice President said this Friday during the opening of the 60th Anniversary and 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Ghana Medical Association ongoing in Koforidua.
According to the Vice President, there has been growing interest globally in providing equitable healthcare and universal healthcare therefore with the growing population and tightening fiscal space in Ghana, the NHIS is the biggest social intervention program to provide equitable and affordable healthcare hence government is committed to making it robust.
Dr Frank Ankobea ,President of Ghana Medical Association, hinted it will soon initiate steps for review of condition of service for doctors in the country but for the mean time wants government to speed up correction on error-ridden agreement signed between the Association and government which was supposed to be implemented in October to calm down members.
He also called on government to fix the human resource deficit in the health sector and provide incentives for health professionals who accept posting to disadvantage areas to help ensure equitable distribution of human resources.