Financial mismanagement is collapsing the national health insurance scheme – Minority in Parliament

The minority in Parliament has accused the government of derailing the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)’s purpose and putting it into a state of “medical coma”.

According to the minority, the current administration of the NPP, under President Akufo-Addo, has subjected the regime to financial mismanagement, hence the need for measures to redeem the ailing regime.

The concerns of the Minority, were contained in a press release published on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.

The statement, which was signed by a member of the parliamentary health committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, also criticized finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta for failing to report to parliament on the program every six months. , as required by Section 52(1) of the Act which regulates the NHIS.

“While the scheme has struggled since its inception to meet the demands of active service provider members, the recent misuse of funds collected in the form of levies and contributions to SSNIT for other government projects, in addition to the fund’s increase in non-essential activities, placed the fund in a medical coma.

Every health insurance scheme needs a steady stream of its funding flows and the flexibility to invest a portion of its inflows if it were to remain viable, while fulfilling its mandate. We will demonstrate to you that the actions of this government undermine this crucial objective,” the statement read.

The minority added that “under President Nana Akufo-Addo, the payment of NHIL and 2.5% of SSNIT contributions to the National Health Insurance Fund was left to the dictates of the Minister of Finance in violation of the Article 52, paragraph 1, of the national law. Law 852 on health insurance which stipulates that “the minister responsible for finance must, within thirty days of the collection of the levy, have the levy paid directly into the fund and provide the minister responsible for health and the Authority proof of payment”.

Nor did the Minister report to Parliament semi-annually (every 6 months), as expressly required by Article 52(2), which also states that “the Minister responsible for finance shall present to Parliament, every six month, a report on the payment of levies to the Fund’.

While in opposition, New Patriotic Party flag bearer Nana Akufo-Addo claimed that the national health insurance scheme was dead and was coming to revive it. However, his annual payments to the National Health Insurance Scheme tell a different story.”

The minority further alleged that the regime has been plunged into huge debts, which is stifling its operations.

This contrasts sharply with an earlier assertion by the Plan in April that it is debt-free.

It has been alleged that the Association of Private Health Institutions of Ghana has threatened to partially withdraw its services to NHIS members if long-standing arrears are not cleared.

But the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr Lydia Dsane-Selby has denied the allegations.

Dr Dsane-Selby, said the scheme now owed service providers, including private health facilities, from September to December 2021, for a total of more than GHC 360 million.

“I will therefore be surprised if a service provider tells us that we owe them up to a year or from 2017 in arrears or that their processes and payments have been unduly delayed.

So if they have facts to support their case, they need to go through our good channels and email addresses, and we will investigate and sort it out,” she added.

She revealed the status of NHIS claims payment during a media engagement in Accra, after media reported the Authority had been voted down by Parliament, when they appeared to report and make claims for the next payment.

The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was established by the Government of Ghana in 2003 to provide equitable access and financial coverage to basic healthcare services to Ghanaians.

Speaking on NHIS packages, the CEO then said he had added family planning and childhood cancers to the areas covered, explaining that the disease is 90% curable unlike adults, bringing the rate to 35 total cancer cure in Ghana. percent.

Dr Dsane-Selby, in linking the National Identity Card (Ghana Card) to the NHIS card, said that Universal Health Coverage is about leaving no one behind, therefore, no longer the health system and the NHIS had data on enrollees, the more they could devise strategies to bring health care to everyone’s doorstep.

But despite these earlier claims, the minority at its press conference on Tuesday May 10, lamented the poor state of the regime and urged the government to roll out measures to restore the effectiveness of the NHIS.

“We cannot keep lying to solve critical national issues. Nor can we continue to ignore the flagrant violations of the laws enacted to ensure good health care for all Ghanaians.

We cannot allow the future of the system to be hijacked by Nana Akufo-Addo and her finance minister who breaks the law. The national health insurance scheme is collapsing not because of insufficient funds or inadequate legislation, but only because of poor public financial management of the fund.

We would like to remind our Bible-quoting Minister of Finance to read what Jesus said in Mark 12:17, ‘…Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s…’ and do accordingly. Pay the funds raised on behalf of the National Health Insurance Scheme to the National Health Insurance Scheme period,” the statement concludes.

Geraldine L. Melton