Politics of Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Source: Daily Post

NHIS Lies: Richard Anane drowns Akufo-Addo finally

Smarting from Nana Akufo-Addo’s goof of a promise that if voted into power as President of Ghana, parents will no longer have to be registered members of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) before their children can also benefit from it, chieftains of the NPP yesterday deployed a couple of people they believe to be experts in the NHIS and Health related matters to do damage control for the NPP flag-bearer.

This is because that law was amended long ago. As a result, for some years now, children register as members of the scheme even if their parents are not registered members. Akufo Addo’s claim therefore that he will make sure that if he becomes President , he will ensure that children can access the scheme even if their parents are not registered on it exposed his lack of knowledge of the NHIS’ operations currently.

The attempt to cover the flag-bearer’s ignorance, however, turned out to be a case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire when a Former Health Minister in the NPP Administration, Hon. Richard Anane, in a desperate bid to cover Akufo-Addo’s ignorance rather ended up re-emphasising the fact that the NPP flag-bearer is ignorant about the operations of the NHIS.

The drama unfolded yesterday at the studious of the Tema-based Adom FM with presenter Adakabre Frimpong Manso in the saddle. Daily Post learnt that the NPP had decided to deploy Ras Boateng, Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to the studios to minimize the damage Akufo-Addo had done to himself and the NPP.

A source within the NPP is said to have hinted Sylvester Mensah, current Chief Executive of the NHIA of the plan as a result of which he dashed to Tema and positioned himself to ambush Ras Boateng in the studios so that they can have a one on one to unravel the truth about the NHIA. He is said to have in his possession of results of just concluded forensic audit of operations of the NHIS before 2009 which spells bad news for Raw Boateng.

However, it was a no show as Ras Boateng failed to turn up at the studios of the radio station. In his stead came the Former Chief Executive of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Ansa Asare who in a tango with Amertor Quarmyn of the NHIA was disruptive and at his caustic best.

After struggling to answer questions from Adakabre, Dr. Ansa Asare gave way to Dr. Richard Anane, Former Minister of Health who came out with a fairy tale about how he was told that Minister for Health, Alban Bagbin, was on platform saying that it was the NDC which amended the law that made it compulsory for a child to access the scheme only when his parents are subscribers.

Virtually calling NDC liars, he averred that it was during the era of the Kufuor regime that the law was amended to allow children benefit from the scheme whether their parents are registered members or not.

This is where Richard Anane pushed Akufo-Addo deeper into the quagmire of lies he had been peddling about the NHIS because if the law had been ammended by the NPP, how could Akufo-Addo say he will scrap that law again if he becomes President.

Cornered by Adakabre on the matter, Richard Anane tried to do some verbal gymnastics about what Akufo-Addo really said. For the avoidance of doubt, the Daily Post went for a copy of the speech Akufo-Addo made before nurses at the Nurses College in Sunyani during when he said if elected President, children will no longer have to depend on their parents to benefit from the scheme. Hear him:

“The NPP will go a step further to save our health system and keep our people healthy. We will offer all children free access to the NHIS. This means that PARENTS NO LONGER HAVE TO BE A SUBCRIBER TO THE NHIS FOR A CHILD TO BENEFIT.

Akufo Addo’s statement shows clearly he has no knowledge of the NHIS’s operations. Furthermore, he is being told to say things he does not understand. This has led him to say he will amend a law that has already be amended.

Hon. Richard Anane, in trying to save his party’s flag-bearer from his own lies has only ended up aggravating matters for him.