A member of the New Patriotic Party is urging the Minority to summon the Health Minister and the head of the National Health Insurance Scheme to Parliament to resolve what has been a huge controversy over payment of debt.
Nana Akomea said the ongoing claims and counterclaims over whether the current government has paid the NHIS debts it inherited from the previous government is unhealthy.
“By now the minority should have filed an urgent question in Parliament for the minister and the NHIS head,” he indicated.
He was speaking on Joy FM’s news analysis programme Newsfile, Saturday on the ongoing controversy over the debt situation of the NHIS.
The president triggered the controversy with a claim that his government has paid one billion cedis of the 1.2 billion cedis NHIS debt it inherited from the erstwhile NDC government.
The president, in delivering a keynote address at the London School of Economics Africa Summit last week stated: “…of the GH¢1.2 billion debt we inherited, the equivalent of $300 million, we have paid, in the last 15 months, GH¢1 billion, the equivalent of $250 million.”
Few days after his revelation, the Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia also repeated same at the 2018 health summit organized by the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the World Health Organisation.
The Vice President said the amount paid represents 98% of the total debt paid.
Shortly after the revelations, a number of health service providers started bickering over non-payment of arrears.
Some of them claimed for over 15 months the government was yet to pay its indebtedness to them.
Some of them threatened to revert to the dreaded cash and carry system.
The minority waded into the controversy with a suggestion the president may be wrong.
Citing figures from the NHIS fund allocation formula, a document submitted to Parliament, the Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak said the total debt bequeathed to the NPP in 2016 could not even amount to half a billion.
According to him, in 2016 the total amount of arrears was pegged at 425.79 million.
He wondered where the president could be getting his 1.2 billion figures from out of which he claimed to have paid 1 billion cedis.
Discussing the matter on Newsfile, Nana Akomea who is head of the State Transport Company, said this whole issue is needless and could be resolved in Parliament without the “Ping-Pong theatricals.”
While he believes there is no mistake in the document containing the 425 million arrears for 2016 he was quick to add that the president may be talking about the global debt situation of the NHIS he inherited.
He explained the 425 million as contained in the document represents only claims which are in arrears but the debt of the NHIS goes beyond just claims.
“The NHIS contracts a lot of works and debts in the country across the districts, arrears is just one of them,” he stated.
He said a better way to solving the controversy is to have the minister and the NHIA head brought to Parliament to explain the differences in the figures.
Member of Parliament for Bolga Central Isaac Adongo dismissed claims the minority was playing politics with the matter.
He said the NHIS fund allocation formula contains all revenues and expenditure account of the NHIS.
Adongo insisted the amount of arrears in 2016 stood at 425million cedis and wondered where the president got his figures from.
According to him, the total payment of claims for both 2017 and 2018 does not come close to 1 billion cedis.
If there is any anomaly, he insisted it is the president who appears to be churning out different figures from what was submitted to Parliament who must come clean on the figures.