Operations OF the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the Ashanti region are likely to come to a halt next week, credible information reaching Daily Guide indicates.
The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has not paid money due service providers of the scheme in the region from March to the end of July this year, DAILY GUIDE has learnt.
Service providers have consequently threatened to quit doing business with the NHIA latest by next week if monies due them were not credited to their accounts by that time.
Currently, the NHIA is said to be in heavily indebted to the service providers which is having adverse effects on their businesses. Some hospitals are already turning away patients if they are not ready to pay cash, indicating that the obnoxious cash and carry system is gradually returning.
It is alleged that the authority had promised to pay half of the March claims but later reneged. The paper has learnt that the NHIA currently owes one provider of the scheme in the region an astonishing 5 billion cedis for the period under review.
This development is said to be collapsing the work of affected NHIA providers as suppliers have threatened to stop doing business with them. NHIS providers are now being hounded on a daily basis by their bankers who are pressing them to repay loans they collected from them to do business.
Many providers currently can’t afford to pay their staff and this is gradually collapsing their businesses.
An affected provider who pleaded anonymity said if the situation is not addressed by next week, the aggrieved NHIS providers would stop working. According to her, the affected providers planned a press conference recently to announce that they would no longer work with the NHIA but a top official from the authority intervened at the last minute.
She angrily asked whether the NDC government wanted to collapse the NHIS, a social intervention scheme introduced by the past administration to make health delivery more accessible for Ghanaians.
She asked that if the NHIA could not pay for four months of service delivery how can it pre-finance the capitation it has been preaching about in the media?
She claimed that nothing has been heard from the authority ever since one Francis Andoh, Deputy Director of Operations at the authority allegedly stopped them from staging the press conference.
Another affected provider who claims he has been avoiding his bankers for the past four months said “if the NHIA fails to pay us by next week we will stop accepting NHIS cards at our facilities across the region.” When contacted, Mr. Andoh admitted that the NHIA has been unable to pay suppliers for the past four months but said little about what caused the problem.
He admitted stopping the aggrieved suppliers from holding the press conference to make their troubles known to the public, adding that he took that decision because his outfit is ready to settle its debts.
Mr. Andoh promised to visit Kumasi latest by tomorrow to sit down with the affected NHIS suppliers to find a lasting solution to the problem.
Source: I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi
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