Health News of Thursday, 7 February 2013
Source: citi fm
Health officials in the Upper West Region have warned of a possible collapse healthcare delivery in the Region as a result of the refusal of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to pay claims it owes health care providers.
The authorities gave the warning at a conference to review the 2012 annual health performance of the Upper West Region.
According to them, about 90% of clients in all health facilities in the Region were under the NHIS but the NHIA has since August 2012 failed to pay bills presented to it by health facilities.
The situation has compelled most health facilities to borrow from banks and other financial institutions to meet their operational costs.
The Upper West Regional Accountant of the Ghana Health Service(GHS), Mr. Clement Atampugre bemoaned the situation and said most health facilities could no longer access financial support due to their continues indebtedness to financial institutions in the region.
He said: “As I talk to you now, most of our facilities can no longer borrow from the banks because they owe too much and this has negatively affected their operations.”
Mr. Atampugre added that if the situation is not addressed, “the situation will compel health care providers to cut down essential services to the public”.
He appealed to the NHIA to urgently address the problem to avoid unnecessary loss of lives and the pressure most health facilities were currently going through.
The Upper West Regional Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) officer of the NHIS, Mr. Rashid Tindogo blamed the situation on the inability of most health care providers to submit their bills to the NHIA in good time.
“What happens is that people delay in submitting their bills. Even as we speak, you can be sure that some providers have not yet submitted their bills for June and July. We have problems like that. Like people are saying they have not yet received claims for August, it means that those bills came late and that is why they were not included and sent to Accra. If you submitted your bills in August or September, by now your money would have been paid,” Mr. Tindogo added.
According to him, the NHIA was yet to receive bills of the last quarter of 2012 from some health care providers in the region.
The M&E officer gave the assurance to the health care providers that the NHIA was working hard to honor all unpaid bills of the last quarter of 2012 before the end of February, 2013.