The Private Health Facilities Association of Ghana (PHFAoG) and the Health Insurance Service Providers Association of Ghana (HISPAG), on Monday, urged the government to ensure the urgent reimbursement of all monies owed them.
They said effective March 1, 2020, the providers would be compelled to withdraw some services that continued to create financial burden especially those that were not within their control.
They therefore advised the public and National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card holders to carry cash alongside their cards to pay for the cost of any service that the providers may not be able to offer immediately.
Mr Frank Torblu, the Executive Director of the Health Insurance Service Providers Association of Ghana, who addressed a joint press conference in Accra, said the advice to the government was based on the current pressure being mounted on their members by their creditors.
According to him, an alleged pronouncement by a Minister of State at a private television station, claiming that the government owed NHI Service providers only three months arrears, had created a situation for the Chamber of Pharmacy to cut supply of medicines and other medical consumables to Member hospital, clinics and maternity homes nationwide.
Mr Torblu said contrary to this the NHIS owed service providers between nine to 14 months which, covered arrears from 2018 for some providers, and 2019 for others.
He argued that the persistent narrative that service providers were unable to timely submit claims as the cause of the delay in reimbursement was untenable, as the Scheme had enforced strict time lines for submissions stated in the contract.
He said the two Associations were therefore demanding that the Finance Ministry as a matter of urgency transferred all monies due the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in connection with the 2.5 per cent National Health Insurance Levy, and 2.5 per cent Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) of workers contributions.
They also urged the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to publicly account for the total amount received on behalf of NHIA, and that there should be a full reimbursement plan by the Authority after deliberation with the PHFAoG and HISPAG, as well as an immediate review and adjustment to the medicine tariff to reflect current economic prices.
Mr Torblu said this, would enable the various Service Providers and Health facilities to provide quality services to their clients, particularly National Health Insurance (NHI) Card holders.
He also ceased the opportunity to notify the government about the persistent harassment of their members by SSNIT, GRA and the Electricity Company of Ghana, with hospitals, clinics and maternity homes with court action and in some cases closure.
He said the Association was not happy with the numerous court actions against its members by SSNIT and the GRA, saying “it is very sad for our clinicians to put their lives at risk to save lives of National Health Insurance card holders for which payment has not been received from NHIA, but to be put before court for nonpayment of Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and SSNIT contribution on behalf of their staff”.
He urged the government to call these institutions to order, saying these facilities could only function well if they received their reimbursements on time, and advised all stakeholders to treat these issues with the utmost urgency it deserved to pre-empt any imminent action by service providers.