The National Health Insurance Scheme has become a subject for scrutiny amongst concerned stakeholders and a section of Ghanaians for willingly, without any pressure at all, donating a staggering GHC250,000 ($43,242) into the
COVID-19 Trust Fund.
This gesture comes off as a mere act of benevolence from the health insurance providers in times of crisis but a further probe by concerned persons reveals a rather worrying development.
Notable amongst these concerned stakeholders are the Minority in Parliament and the Private Health Facilities Association of Ghana (PHFAG), who claim the health service providers are in no position to indulge in acts of kindness, considering the fact that, they have been engulfed in debt to its health providers.
According to the Private Health Facilities Association of Ghana (PHFAG), the development is heart-wrenching considering the fact that the NHIS owes members of the association huge amounts of money.
They claim the NHIS owes them arrears in claims from mid-2019 to date.
The president of the group, Samuel Boakye Donkor is quoted to have said in an interview, “It is really something bad and painful. You owe us from last year July to date. Others have not been paid for 14 months.
We just heard that the government has given you money to pay us and you have given that money back to the government saying it is your cooperate social responsibility… I recently sent a claim from February 2019, and when you had some money, you’ve gone to give to the COVID-19 Fund, what kind of life is this?”
The Minority in Parliament through its spokesperson on health, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh on the other hand, has heavily castigated the NHIS for the untoward act.
They claim the NHIS has no justification whatsoever for depriving service providers their due arrears yet displaying wealth on national television.
“Government had already siphoned about GHS 390 million from NHIA in the 2020 budget, besides the huge indebtedness to NHIA. It’s therefore inappropriate that NHIA largely known to be financially bleeding could cough up that amount as a donation when you’re still owing service providers,” Mr Akandoh said in an interview.
As though to build a firewall to ward off envisaged critics, the CEO of the NHIA, Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby while donating the amount in question said it was a needful gesture in this period of COVID-19 which forms part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.
But a section of the public who also didn’t find the act enthusing took to their various social media handles to question the wisdom behind the NHIS’ decision.
Below are some concerns and reactions raised by some Twitter users:
Abena Nyamekye Ampadu.
I think the Ghana National #Covid19 trust fund should return the money donated by the NHIS.
We are tired of hospitals calling about unpaid claims and how it is affecting their operations.
80 10:44 AM – Apr 22, 2020
46 people are talking about this
Peter Doe Jnr
#NHIS donates Ghc250,000 to the Covid-19 fund?? Jesus Christ, help us. I can’t think far!
10 5:44 PM – Apr 22, 2020
See Peter Doe Jnr ‘s other Tweets