CHAG restores services to NHIS cardholders

The Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) has restored healthcare services to cardholders of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), with immediate effect.

CHAG had on July 2, 2014, withdrawn services to NHIS subscribers because managers of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) were indebted to the mission hospitals in excess of GHȼ 50 million. They said the delay in claims payment by the NHIA necessitated the action.

The association is made up 183 mission hospitals in the country, which cater for about 42 per cent of the healthcare needs of the people, especially those in deprived communities.

But a joint statement issued Wednesday said the decision to suspend the action followed last week’s meeting between government officials and the leadership of CHAG, to discuss the issues relating to the suspension of service to cardholders.

“It was agreed at the meeting that the issues raised by CHAG as the basis for the cessation of services are legitimate and required strategic multi-stakeholder input for policy consideration, a process that will require effective planning and consultation,” the statement noted.

According to the statement jointly signed by Chief Executive Officer for the NHIA, Sylvester Mensah and the Executive Director of CHAG, Dr. Gilbert Buckle, it was also agreed that the government would facilitate the payment of claims between March 1, 2014 and August 31, 2014.

“The NHIA will thereafter work with CHAG to define a claims payment time lag that ensures certainty of payments taking into account current constraints and bearing in mind the legally mandated reimbursement period of 90 days.”

The parties also agreed to review the tariff upward by 12.5% across board, effective August 1, 2014 in view of the escalating prices of medicines “whilst steps are expedited to complete the full and comprehensive review by 30th September, 2014 with effective implementation for 1st October, 2014”.

With regard to issues relating to operational contract, the statement said: “CHAG and the NHIA will continue to work together to complete the review of a new Provider Services for execution by the parties.”

“The parties hereby apologize to the general public for the inconveniences and difficulties the action taken by CHAG might have caused,” the statement said.