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Release Funds to NHIS – Minority to Gov’t

The minority caucus in parliament has requested that the governor redeem its obligation under the NHIS Act 852 and release funds to restore the NHIS.

Addressing journalists at a press conference, the ranking member for health Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh disclosed that almost all stakeholders in the NHIS are financially inept and threatening to withdraw their services while others have already withdrawn.

Some of these stakeholders are; Chamber of pharmacy, Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) and Health Insurance Service Providers Association(HIPSAG), among others.

He disclosed that the Chamber of Pharmacy which provides pharmaceutical products and other medical consumables to health care providers under the NHIS have withdrawn their services and have indicated that any health facility owing them more than 3 months could no longer enjoy their services unless payment guarantees were provided to them.

Hon. Kwabena Mintah Akandoh again disclosed that some facilities under CHAG have been disconnected from the power supply by the ECG.

These include St. Mary’s hospital, Drobo in the Bono Region,  St. Francis clinic, Saviefe in the Volta Region,  Benito Menno hospital, Dompoase in the Ashanti Region and the Presbyterian Health Care  Centre among others and this he said was made known by the Deputy Executive Director of CHAG Dr. James Duah.

Furthermore, the Hon. stated that these institutions have indicated that they owe SSNIT, GRA and the ECG due to delay in reimbursement by the NHIA.

This is because about 40 health facilities are in court for various reasons such as failure of payment of their utility bills and inability to contribute SSNIT for their workers due to government’s failure to release NHI  funds.

 Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh stated that the government has no reason to delay payment since money is paid upfront as NHIL by every citizen in the country.

Therefore, the minority caucus in parliament demands that the government immediately redeem its obligation under the law and release funds to resuscitate the NHIS which is currently at the intensive care unit.

Again, they demand that the government respect the NHI Act 852, section 52 (1) which states that “the Minister responsible for Finance shall within 30 days after collection of the levy cause to be directly paid into the fund and furnished the minster responsible for Health and the authority with the evidence of the payment”

Section 52 (2) of Act 852 also provides that ” the Minister responsible for Finance shall present to parliament every 6 months, a report on the payment of levies into the NHI.

By: Mary Quartey

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