NHIS service providers send SOS to govt – Pay us all 12-month arrears

By Lorlornyofm May 5, 2017 06:37

NHIS service providers send SOS to govt – Pay us all 12-month arrears

The Chamber of Pharmacy, Ghana (CPG) has threatened to stop supplying medicines on credit to health service providers under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) if the government does not release more funds to the providers.

The government is reported to have released part of the Gh¢ 1.2 billion arrears  that the scheme currently owes the providers.

The said amount released by government is expected to cover only the month of May 2016, although it owes the providers for 12 months.

There is, however, no detailed information on the specific amount released by the government.

Woefully inadequate

The amount paid by the government has, however, been described by the CPG as woefully inadequate and not enough to lift its members from their precarious financial situation.

The chamber has sent numerous distress calls to the government to settle the scheme’s indebtedness to health service providers to enable them to, in turn, settle their indebtedness to members of the CPG.

The  Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the chamber, Mr Anthony Ameka, told the Daily Graphic that  the CPG would only continue with the current arrangement of providing medicines for healthcare providers on credit if the government settled at least six months of the arrears that the scheme owed the providers.

“The government should make funds available immediately for, at least, six months to the service providers so that they can also pay us or else we will demand cash payments from them,’’ he said.

He said medicines accounted for 54 per cent of the operational cost of the healthcare providers and as such the current arrangement where the CPG allowed them to buy majority of the medicine on credit was negatively affecting pharmaceutical companies in the country.

“Because of the huge debt, the NHIS is killing the pharmaceutical sector in the country. We also buy from our suppliers on credit who normally give us 45 days to sell and release the money to them. Here is the situation the scheme owes us almost one year as of now,” Mr Ameka explained.

Shock and disappointment

Meanwhile, the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) has expressed shock and disappointment at government’s decision to reimburse only one month of the 12 months the NHIS owes its member institutions.

“Even with that, only 50 per cent of our member institutions benefited from this. They are targeting only those in the rural areas. None of those in the urban areas has been paid.

“We feel this is inappropriate, immoral, illegitimate and to us, it is once again, a mortgage of the livelihood of the vulnerable in the society,” the Executive Director of CHAG, Mr Peter K. Yeboah, said, describing the payment as piecemeal.

Acute shortage

He said CHAG member institutions were experiencing acute shortage of life-saving medicines as a result of the decision of suppliers to cease the supply of essential drugs.

“We are no longer able to guarantee quality and affordable health care for our fellow citizens,” he said, adding that the situation was a serious crisis and a humanitarian disaster of a major magnitude.

Mr Yeboah further described the situation as a collateral damage of the health system and a mortgage of the health of the citizens.

Source: Graphic.com.gh

By Lorlornyofm May 5, 2017 06:37
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