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General News of Saturday, 30 March 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Parliament must find solutions to NHIA’s struggles – Majority Leader

Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has emphasized the need for Parliament to devise solutions to challenges facing the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).

He made the suggestion following concerns from the Minority over what it called the NHIA’s decision to engage in “wasteful spending.”

According to the Minority Spokesperson on Health, Kwabena Mintah Akandor, the allocation of NHIS funds of about GHC 5 million for corporate social responsibility amounts to nothing but wasteful spending at a time the scheme is struggling.

The scheme has reportedly also allocated GHC 300 million for ICT infrastructure, GHC 10 million for restructuring among other allocations.

The Minority’s concerns come in the wake of claims by the Cape Coast Hospital over the non-payment of health insurance claims running into millions of Ghana cedis.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Kyei Mensah Bonsu emphasized the need for both the Minority and Majority to discuss and proffer a remedy to these challenges.

“We should be looking at improving the landscape of the NHIS and all these statutory funds. We should all be talking to the issue. I agree that we should bring them back on track. As a Parliament we should come together and deal with this.

“Going forward we should come together and interrogate these matters closely. The national interest should compel us. We should come together and take a firm decision. The onus rests with the house. Let us discuss and debate. We can then invite the Minister of Health and Secretariat and dialogue with them on that. When we are done with that then we can make a determination on what should be done”

The Daily Graphic had reported that the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) owed the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital GH¢6.175 million for services the facility rendered to patients under the NHIS.

The amount represents eight months (May to December 2018) of claims submitted to the NHIA.

The acting CEO of the NHIA, Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby, however, downplayed the GHc 6.175 million debt owed the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital (CCTH).

“I think it’s not as dire as it is being made out to be,” Dr. Dsane-Selby said on the Citi Breakfast Show on Thursday.

The GHc 6.175 million represents costs for six months, she also noted.

“We must remember that their monthly bill is close to a million cedis so that that GHc 6 million is around six months so it is not as if we owe years and years.”