Health News of Friday, 18 July 2014
The Chamber of Pharmacy in Ghana is warning of calamitous times ahead, if the National Health Insurance Authority fails to settle in full, arrears owed service providers.
The NHIA is said to be indebted to the service providers to the tune of Gh¢57 million from February to date, a situation the service providers say could compel them to shut their doors to subscribers of the scheme from August 1, 2014.
Government last week released close to Gh¢64 million to the NHIA to settle in part, arrears owed the service providers. The amount, however, covers the claims submitted between October 2013 and January 2014.
Advocate for the Chamber of Pharmacy in Ghana, Ernest Owusu Aboagye said on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM, Friday, the situation has resulted in a sharp decline in the profit margins of pharmacists and is now dissipating their capital.
"...If we don't speak now, the businesses of service providers are going to collapse...if any of them fails, we will be heading into dire straits," Mr. Owusu Aboagye cautioned.
The Executive Director of Health Insurance Service Providers Association of Ghana (HISPAG), Frank Richard Toblu says the decision to go cash-and-carry is a painful one since it will worsen the plight of contributors to the NHIS. "...If we go cash and carry we will bring untold hardship on the people," he said.
He however said if the situation remains as it is, service providers will be left with no option but to bring back cash-and-carry to keep the pharmaceutical companies in business.
Communications Manager for the NHIA, Selorm Adornoo however pleaded with the service providers to bear with the Authority as it is doing its best to pay the arrears.
"The situation not a hopeless one" Mr. Adornoo said, noting that; "we try to engage the providers for them to know what we are doing about the situation."