The Minority in Parliament has said government needs to be pressured to release funds for the effective running of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Accusing government of failing to release monies to the scheme in 2022, the Minority said it fears the attitude of government may collapse the NHIS.
Addressing journalists in Parliament on Friday, 31 March 2023, Ranking Member on the Health Committee of Parliament Kwabena Mintah Akandoh said: “Last year when we were considering the 2022 formulae, we realised that about 6 percent of the amount collected in 2021 was paid which was the worse in the history of the National Health Insurance Authority.
“In the year 2021, The government collected in excess of GHS2 billion and paid about GHS127 million and that constituted about 6 percent and we raised issues out of that. As though the issues we raised last year angered the government, the President Akufo-Addo Bawumia government decided that in the year 2022, they’ll pay absolutely nothing. Not GHS1 was even released for the 2022 formulae. So we approved the 2022 formulae, and this year, we’re dealing with the 2023 but what we approved in the 2022 formulae nothing, absolutely nothing, has been released.”
According to Mr Akandoh, government since the year 2018, has taken GHS4 billion from the NHIS.
“So from 2018, government has taken in excess of GHS4 billion from the National Health Insurance which of cause, I don’t know what they’re using that money for. After taking these huge sums of money from the National Health Insurance Fund, the little that is left to be paid to the scheme to run it is also running into arrears almost every year and so sometimes you hear there’s an outbreak of measles, there’s an outbreak of polio, tetanus, what have you.
“It is because some of these allocations are not paid on time so we don’t get the money to buy these vaccines and it results in these outbreaks and sometimes we lose some of our babies and children which is quite avoidable.”
He noted that the delay in the payment of the claims is always a threat to the survival of the scheme because in such instances, service providers also withdraw their services, subscribers are also given prescriptions to go and buy outside the facility and they visit the health facilities.
The Minority also called for a forensic audit into the NHIS.
“We still think that there should be a forensic audit, an independent probe into the IT component of the National Health Insurance Scheme,” Mr Akandoh stressed.