NHIS is not loosing its value – Health Insurance Authority responds to Dormaahene

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) management has refuted claims circulating in the media that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is on the verge of collapsing.

CEO of the National Health Insurance Authority Dr Bernard Okoe Boye

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) management has refuted claims circulating in the media that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is on the verge of collapsing.

This response came after remarks by the Dormaahene, Osagyefo Oseadeeyo Nana Agyeman Badu II.

In an official statement seen by GhanaWeb, the NHIA acknowledged agreement with most of the issues raised by the paramount chief, specifically supporting his call for the National Health Insurance (NHI) Levy not to be utilized by the government.

However, the NHIA clarified that no government in the Fourth Republic of Ghana has allocated all the funds from the NHI Levy to the authority.

The highly revered Chief demonstrated concern and a dedication to the long-term viability of the Scheme, for which the management of the NHIA is very grateful and appreciative. His strong plea for the government to leave the National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) alone and provide it to the NHIA to bolster its functions – particularly the processing of claims for healthcare providers – is warranted.

“While management appreciates Osagyefo’s call for the government to give the Scheme the full amount of the NHIL collected, we would like to address the erroneous impression that the reportage created, suggesting that the Scheme is on the verge of collapse because the NHIA is not receiving the full amount of the NHI levy, therefore depriving healthcare providers of their rightful claims. It is imperative to put on record that no government during the Fourth Republic has ever provided the NHIA with all the NHIL collected albeit enshrined in law – a situation that can be improved upon,” part of the statement reads.

The management went on to say that it disagrees with the claim that the reason the program is failing is because health care providers aren’t getting paid what they should.

Millions of Ghanaians rely on the NHIS for their medical needs, and the NHIA has always paid service providers, according to the statement.

“We however strongly disapprove of the media narrative that seeks to create an impression of a collapsing NHIS. The NHIA has consistently paid healthcare facilities an average of One Hundred and Fifty Million Ghana Cedis (GHS150 Million) every Thirty (30) days especially over the past two years. A phenomenon that has not occurred this frequently since the inception of the Scheme some twenty years ago.”

It also mentioned that its website contains proof of the monthly payment made to service providers.

What the Dormaahene said:

During the 3rd Annual General Conference of the Private Health Facilities Association of Ghana in Sunyani on November 18, 2023, Oseadeyo Agyeman Badu II issued a warning.

He cautioned that if corrective measures are not taken regarding the utilization of the NHIS Levy, he would initiate legal action to seek a court interpretation on the intended purpose of the NHIS levy.

He expressed concern that the NHIS is on the brink of collapse due to a lack of proper compensation to service providers under the scheme, despite the government generating substantial revenue from the NHIS levy, which was established to fund the policy.

“I want to plead with the government not to touch the National Health Insurance Levy… give it to the National Health Insurance Authority so that they can give it to the private providers.

“If you are taking the money (NHIS levy) and it is been kept somewhere how is work going to proceed? I’m on my knees begging, we have to take this issue seriously as Ghanaians, we are all suffering because of this,” he said in Twi.

He added, “I am sending a warning, at some point, I will go to court… I would ask the court whether the NHIS levy can be used for different purposes other than financing the NHIS. If I do this, people are going to say that I like causing trouble, but I want to ensure that Ghanaians have good health and also that the work of health service providers goes on”.

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