The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has refuted claims that the scheme is indebted to pharmaceutical manufacturers and suppliers following emerging reports that health facilities across the country have failed to pay for medical supplies for more than 12 months.
The Chamber of Pharmacy Ghana and the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Ghana, this week, threatened to withdraw supplies to the regional medical stores and the health facilities funded by the NHIA if they fail to honour their indebtedness to their members by 1 July 2020.
In a letter to the Ministry of Health, the group indicated that the failure to honour the indebtedness could force the pharmaceutical companies to “initiate supplies to the service providers in question based on bank guarantees or cash-and-carry as a mode of payment.”
Reacting to the issue, the public relations officer of NHIA, Mr Barimah Sarpong, told Class News’ Blessed Sogah that: “It may be wrong for anybody to assume that this debt is as a result of NHIS’ inability to pay claims to its providers and I say this because, in the year 2019 alone, NHIS paid GHS800 million to its service providers but that aside, if you consider the amount of money that we have paid in this year alone, over the last five or six months in 2020, that is January to June of 2020, NHIS has paid GHS687 million. What this means is that if 45 per cent of this amount alone should go into the payment of medical supplies and 45 per cent of GHS687 million should be more than GHS300 million that we are talking about here.”
Mr Sarpong further indicated: “Our difficulty in this whole situation is that we don’t control the purse of service providers. So, if we pay service providers, it is not within our mandate to tell them that: ‘Go and pay your suppliers, including the pharmaceutical companies, or go and use their money for ABCD’. So, we are only encouraging our service providers to pay their suppliers, including these pharmaceutical companies, as and when we pay them. AS for NHIA, we are very much committed to paying our claim”.