National Health Insurance hit by Ghc300m deficit

Dr Kwaku Agyemang Mensah Min Health

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, says the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is facing a funding gap of almost 300 million Ghana cedis.

Dr Agyemang-Mensah said the NHIA urgently needs that money to be able to meet its obligations.

According to him, funds allocated to the Authority by the 2014 Budget is inadequate to enable it meet its operations, although funds for disbursement of claims to service providers has seen some improvements.

“The NHIA has on a cash-basis received an amount of 882 million [Ghana cedis] including claims arrears for 2013. Out of this amount a total of 746 million [Ghana cedis], representing 84.55% of the total receipt was assigned to claims payment”, he revealed.

Aside the lack of funds, he revealed that delays by the Authority to pay claims to service providers to ensure quality healthcare delivery in the country has been one of the major setbacks of the health insurance scheme.

He said there are talks with the Finance Ministry to prevent late release of funds to the NHIA, another impediment in the Authority’s quest to ensure smooth operation.

Service providers say the situation is not creating an effective room for dispensing quality healthcare to subscribers.

A member of the Health Committee of Parliament Dr. Kwabena Twum Nuamah, however, believes the Finance Ministry is violating the NHIA Act by delaying disbursement of funds to the Authority.

According to him if this continues, it could have serious impact on healthcare delivery in the country.

NHIA has the mandated to secure the implementation of a national health insurance policy that ensures access to basic healthcare services to all Ghanaians.

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