Health News of Wednesday, 13 March 2013
Source: Daily Guide
Reports reaching DAILY GUIDE suggest that Joseph Ade Coker, the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has been penciled for appointment as Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).
Though the NDC Regional Chairman has remained mum on the issue, DAILY GUIDE checks show he would be taking over from the current Chief Executive, Sylvester Mensah, who has come under a heated attack from a group calling itself Alliance for the Empowerment of NDC Constituency Branch Executives and said to have links with Ade Coker.
The group, operating from the Ayawaso Central of the Greater Accra Region, has threatened to raid the NHIA headquarters amidst drumming and dancing to physically uproot Mr. Mensah from his office and throw him out if the President hesitated in relieving him of his duties.
According to reports, Mr. Coker had a strong lobbying team parading the corridors of power and had finally succeeded in getting the nod to head the NHIA and his appointment would be announced soon.
Health Minister Sherry Ayittey is also said to be encouraging the bid of her regional chairman to become Chief Executive of NHIA.
Sources close to Mr. Coker said he would not be seeking re-election as regional chairman and had set his eyes on the NHIA as a sort of ‘retirement package’.
Currently, the NHIA is in crisis as missionary hospitals in the country are withholding service to holders of Health Insurance cards, citing delayed payment of claims as their main reason.
Indeed, claims have not been paid in some instances for as much as six months but the Authority also explains it is yet to receive money from the Ministry of Finance.
A press release issued by the NHIA yesterday said the Authority expressed regret that that the Christian Mission hospitals had suspended services to Health Insurance card holders.
The statement said the Authority wished to assure subscribers and the general public that it was engaging with service providers to settle outstanding issues affecting service providers to ensure an interrupted health service delivery.
“While efforts are being made to resolve these issues as soon as possible, the NHIA entreats subscribers in need of health care who are being asked to pay cash for health care services, to visit the nearest government health facility or other service providers with their NHIS cards for any medical attention they may require under NHIS,” the NHIA statement noted.