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General News of Tuesday, 16 April 2019


NHIS better under NPP; claims payment time drops to 5 months

The time it takes for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to pay claims to service providers has reduced from two years to five months.

Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NHIS, Dr. Dsane-Selby made this known to the media on Tuesday at the Ministry of Information in Accra.

She was responding to allegations made by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the Scheme was at the verge of collapse under the New Patriotic Party’s administration headed by President Akufo-Addo.

National Communications Officer of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi, had at a press conference held on Monday in Accra, accused the NPP’s Government of poorly managing the NHIS, adding that the scheme was highly indebted to service providers.

The NDC had also claimed that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) failed to do due diligence before investing GH?17.5 million with All-Time Capital Investment.

The NDC’s claim has turned out to be inaccurate.

Documents from the NHIA available to DGN Online suggest that the Authority’s investment with All-Time Capital was initiated by the Mahama administration in July 2012.

But Dr. Dsane-Selby told the press that the Scheme was being better managed today than it had been under the NDC’s administration headed by former President John Mahama.

She said unlike during the time of the NDC’s administration when claims or debts were settled in two years, currently claims were being paid in five months.

She stated that the target of the current managers of the NHIS was to further drop the timeframe from five months to three months.

When that is achieved, she said, the indebtedness would be at a level where it is manageable or sustainable, saying that there was no health insurance scheme in the world that is not indebted to service providers.

She exposed the NDC that upon taking over on January 7, 2017, NPP realized that February 2016 claims were still unpaid.

Akufo-Addo is truthful

President Nana Akufo-Addo, at his recent Sate of the Nation Address on February 21 as well as his engagement with Ghanaians living in the USA, observed that the NHIS was buoyant and has come back to life with all the logistical and funding support by this government.

Deputy Minister of Information, Pius Enam Hadzide, told journalists that “the President didn’t peddle untruth and the President certainly doesn’t lie as the NDC would want the good people of Ghana to believe.”

Reacting to claims made by the NDC, he said “Government wishes to assure the people of Ghana that the NHIS is definitely not on the verge of collapse as claimed by the NDC.”

Confusion Galore

Presenting what he described as the true state of affairs, he said “government wishes to state emphatically that this administration inherited a 1.2 billion Cedis debt left behind by the NDC. This debt has since been fully paid in full by the Nana Addo led government.”

He said “the NDC also clearly confuses funding gap of 425.7 million Cedis with total claims arrears of 1.2 billion Cedis as at December 2016 when they were exiting office.”

According to him, “for their education, funding gap is the difference between the total liability and the money that is due the NHIS.”

On alleged loss of confidence in the scheme, the Deputy Minister added “it is also palpable falsehood when the NDC says there is loss of confidence in the scheme. Contrary to their assertion, the facts is that NHIS membership registration has rather surged from 18.6 million in 2016 to 20.1 million in 2018.”

Again, he disclosed that “it is also important to state that the scheme records approximately 75,000 mobile renewals weekly.”

Furthermore, he said the number of credentialed facilities (healthcare providers who have signed contracts to attend registered NHIS members) has increased from 4,160 at the end of December 2016 to 4,520.

He stated that “for the records, we wish to announce that active membership of the scheme by January 2019 stands at 10,793,456 higher than the 2019 figure quoted by the NDC.”

The Minister added that “Government wants to once again bring to the attention of the general public that effective April 1st 2019 the service tariff payable to credential institutions has been increased by twenty percentage points. This is to help improve on the quality of service rendered to members.
Ladies and gentlemen, how can these statistics provided be described as loss of confidence in the scheme.”