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General News of Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

NHIA pushes for severe punishment for the Scheme’s fraudsters

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is closer to its goal of a minimum jail term of two years for all persons who defraud the scheme.

“We have put in the amendment that we will send to the Ministry of Health for onward submission to the Attorney General and to Parliament for a change in the law that there should be a minimum of two years imprisonment,” the NHIA CEO, Dr. Samuel Yaw Annor told Citi News.

He had previously described fines dished out for fraud and looting of the scheme as too lenient.
But the NHIA’s problems extend beyond just jail time, Dr. Annor said.

The Authority is also suffering because of the long time it takes for prosecutions to happen.

Dr. Annor noted that “what makes the case problematic is that because the case drives on for so many years if you take the value of money today, by the time it is seven years time and the judgment is awarded, the value of money [is very little].”

It is for this reason that the Attorney General’s office has now begun a three-day training program for the NHIA’s legal department to enable it to prosecute its own cases expeditiously.

“So the loss of the value of money is of main concern to us and that is why we want to fast-track these prosecutions,” Dr. Annor said.

“So we are also going to put a crack team together and that team will also be trained properly by the Attorney General, BNI and the CID; for them to know exactly what to look for when they go out there. So all these things will be unfolding before the end of the year.”