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General News of Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

NDC’s claims Ghanaians are losing confidence in NHIS false – Government

The Government has rubbished the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) alarms about the deteriorating state of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) under the Akufo-Addo administration.

Deputy Information Minister, Pius Enam Hadzide said it is “palpably false when the NDC says that there is a loss of confidence in the scheme.”

He insisted that the Scheme’s membership was only growing in recent years.

“Contrary to the assertion, the fact is that the NHIS membership registration has rather surged from 18.6 million in 2016 to 20.1 million in 2018.”

The active membership of the scheme stands as 10,793,456 and “this is higher than the figure that the NDC quotes,” Mr. Hadzide stated.

In addition, he said there were 75,000 mobile renewals weekly.

As far as the financial challenges are concerned, the government attributed them to funding gaps.

“The NDC confuses funding gaps of GHC425.7 million with total claims arrears of GHC1.2 billion as at December 2016 when they were exiting office.”

On top of the reported financial challenges with the scheme, the NDC recently accused the government of illegally transferring over GHC17 million of the NHIS’ funds into a private fund management company, All Time Capital Investment.

The party said the transaction was done without due diligence and risk assessment.

The NDC’s concerns on the state of the scheme are not without merit as a National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) CEO, Dr. Samuel Annor warned that the NHIS may not exist as we know it by 2020 because of its financing challenges.

“Between 2009 and now, we have just been piling debts,” Dr. Annor said of the NHIS in 2018.

But in November 2018, the government said the GHC1.2 billion debt the Akufo-Addo administration met at the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has been cleared.

The scheme’s struggles prompted a proposal to increase the National Health Insurance Levy from 2.5% to 3.5% of VAT.

The government subsequently separated the Health Insurance Fund Levy from the VAT giving it a straight levy of 2.5%.