Parliament has ordered a thorough investigation into how the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) allocated GH₵205 million to manage its ICT systems for the year 2021.

According to a report from the House sighted by JoyNews‘ Joseph Opoku Gakpo, it is alarming and outrageous that aside from the aforementioned amount, ¢16 million has been set aside for other ICT related activities, also to be taken from the GH₵2.6 billion budget.

“The Committee of the Whole was worried about the amount of GH₵205 million allocated for Management Information Systems; the GH₵12 million to be used to upgrade the Oracle ERP Applications for the renewal of Oracle License as well as the GH₵14 million for ISO Certification.

“Although the Committee was informed that the allocations will enable the NHIA to enhance the security of its ICT platform and also improve upon the technology, it was of the view that the amounts were too outrageous and needed to be probed,” portions of the report stated.

The MPs on Thursday bemoaned such expenditure is leaving fewer resources available for the Authority to take up initiatives to improve the health of the populace directly.

Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak feared that should such expenditure remain unchecked; it could reach half a billion cedis in the next five years.

“We don’t intend to say that ‘let’s restrain the approval of the formula. But I think this House may take an interest, especially the Health Committee must call the authorities to bring whatever contracts they have in all these areas and scrutinize. Go on the site to see exactly what they are doing because this description turns to one thing.

“We need to overcome this challenge, other than that, the rate at which it is going, I doubt in the next five years, ICT system of the NHIA could move to half a billion Ghana cedis, and that cannot be right,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Committee of the Whole has recommended that Parliament’s Health Committee takes up a monitoring exercise at the National Health Insurance Authority “to inspect NHIA’s ICT installations/facilities, interact with the management or officials of the Authority and report to the House.”

According to the Committee, such an exercise will enable members of the House to understand and appreciate the rationale for the expenditures on ICT.