The Sunyani Municipal Manager of the National Health Insurance (NHIA), Maxwell Mahama, has threatened to get the contract of their service providers terminated if they do not desist from extorting money from clients.

He reminded the facilities that charging unapproved fees for services rendered is a criminal offence that can lead to imprisonment or termination of the contract.

Mr Mahama was speaking with journalists after an unannounced visit to the Sunyani Municipal Hospital and the Bono Regional Hospital following reports that clients at the two health facilities were being charged for conditions the scheme covers.

Stop extorting money from our clients else we abrogate your contract – NHIA manager

The NHIA Municipal office at Sunyani in the Bono region had a hint that the dentist at the Sunyani Municipal Hospital was charging ¢100 for filling of teeth, which according to Mr Mahama, is covered by the scheme.

The Sunyani Municipal NHIA boss said he uncovered that women who went for antenatal services were charged ¢1 for vital sign check whilst receptacle for urine sample went for ¢1 and ¢2 at the same Sunyani Municipal Hospital.

Mr Mahama revealed that when the hospital’s administrator was contacted, he and other hospital authorities denied knowledge of illegal fees being taken at the dental clinic and the antenatal unit but promised to investigate the matter.

He further disclosed that a pregnant woman went to the Sunyani Municipal Hospital to deliver but was referred to privately owned Owusu Memorial Hospital, also known as “Akyereko”, to undergo a cesarean section and be charged ¢1000.

At Akyereko, she was again referred to the Sunyani Regional Hospital, where she eventually paid ¢900 but reported the case to the NHIA office then after.

He urged clients who are made to pay illegal fees at the hospitals to emulate the example of Madam Fati by reporting their ordeal to the scheme’s office for appropriate action to be taken.

Mr Mahama, however, cautioned NHIA accredited service providers to eschew acts that will discourage prospective members from joining the scheme.

He added that the NHIA will soon take appropriate actions on the cases Sunyani Municipal Hospital and the Sunyani Regional Hospital.