The Minority in Parliament is demanding the immediate release of funds from the Finance Ministry to the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to pay health service providers to avoid a potential collapse of the service.

According to the NDC MPs, the scheme is currently owing service providers over ¢87 million for the past 15 months which is negatively affecting their operations and has compelled service providers to withdrawn their services.

The group alleges that some providers are in court for none payments of taxes, utility bills and other statutory obligations due to the debt.

Addressing the press Friday, the Ranking Member on the Health Committee of Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh stated that the development is gradually bringing back the ‘cash and carry’ system in the health care delivery despite claims by the President that his government has settled all arrears owed the providers.

Kwabena Mintah Akandoh
Ranking Member on the Health Committee of Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh

“We are deeply concerned at the collapsing trend of the national health insurance scheme as a result of the delay in the release of funds together with the drastic decline in the releases.

“Government has no excuse or what so ever to deal payment for such a long period except to say that government is hoarding the money for reasons best known to them.

“This is because these monies are paid upfront as national health insurance levy by every customer in this country. The question is, where is the money?”

Oye Lithur free NHIA

The Juaboso MP also blamed the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta for delaying the release of funds into the Health Insurance kitty as specified by the NHIS Act 852 section 52 (1) which mandates the minister to pay such funds within 30 days after collection.

He is asking government to take off the NHIS capping so as to ensure adequate and timely releases of money into the levy to settle all arrears.

“We have some laws in this county that are destroying the health insurance…Capping is the first one…This is because when the levies are taken by government for the health insurance scheme, a deduction is made. That deduction is taken from the money that most people claim is inadequate.

“So on paper, we know in 2017, the government deducted about four hundred and nineteen million, an amount that could have been used to settle all the service providers. Every year, the government deducts money and we believe if that capping is avoided, the scheme will survive.”