Parliament has approved the formula for the disbursement of the National Health Insurance Fund for 2017.
A total of 2.2 million Ghana Cedis has been allocated to the NHIS which has struggled in recent times due to delays in the release of funds, forcing service providers owed by the Scheme to withdraw their services.
Speaking to Citi News’ Duke Mensah Opoku, the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, stated that, the approval of the formula was an indication of the government’s commitment towards improving the Scheme.
According to him, it was important for the arrears which had been accumulated by the Scheme over last few months to be cleared before any significant headway can be made in addressing the problems in health delivery.
“The monthly releases that should come will come judiciously and that is what we have relied on so far. As I speak, we’ve got releases in Health Insurance now from Ministry of Finance. After they have finished disbursing, we may have ended up having paying nine months for this year alone. The nine months constitutes six months of President Akufo-Addo’s tenure and three months of the arrears that have been accumulated,” he said
“Gradually we are moving. People expect that we do something massive, but not until we make serious arrangements to lay hands on some good money to clear all the arrears at a go or some significant portion of it, the challenges will continue to be there.”
The President, Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, stated in June that his administration was working towards clearing the debts of the scheme within the next 18 months.
“The scheme has been threatened by mismanagement and by huge indebtedness. We are now having to liquidate systematically the arrears so that the service providers can be encouraged to provide services for NHIS card holders.”
“I am hoping that within 18 months, all the arrears of the NHIS would have been settled so that we can have a secure future for the scheme,” the President said.
In May 2017, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr. Samuel Annor, disclosed that the Scheme was broke and unable to pay service providers.
The Scheme is said to owe service providers to the tune of GHc1.2 billion, and the Chamber of Pharmacy Ghana and the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), had threatened to boycott services to the scheme over the debt.
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(Via: CitiFM Online Ghana)