By Godfred A. Polkuu
Bolgatanga, Dec. 2, GNA – The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) says the credentials of health facilities that indulged in co-payments will soon be revoked.
Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, Chief Executive of the NHIA who announced this, said the Authority was working to abolish all forms of co-payments in health facilities across the country.
He said some accredited health insurance facilities demanded payments for services from active clients of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) who visited them for services.
“I am announcing confidently that very soon, Honourable Minister, some facilities might come to you to beg us that they have been de-credentialed, and we are ready to remove the credential status of facilities who charge money with impunity,” he said.
“It is something that we are not going to shy away from,” Dr Okoe also cautioned, when he led the Board, Management, and staff of the Authority to call on Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister as part of a day’s working visit to the Region to interact with staff of the NHIA.
“We are working hard to make sure that this issue of co-payment becomes a thing of the past. We have set up Co-payment Committees in every District who are supposed to talk to people who visit hospitals and let us know with evidence what is happening in the hospitals,” he said.
The Chief Executive noted some health facilities complained of delayed payments from the NHIA, and that their tariffs were high and not realistic, and indicated that “Annually, we inject GH₵1.5 billion, an average of GH₵120million is paid to health facilities across Ghana every month.
“So, most of the times, the debts that the hospitals talk about maybe, are legacy debts. But every single month for the past 12 months, we release monies to hospitals. We are pumping money that demands our people are taken care of,” he said.
He encouraged all citizens in the country to register onto the National Health Insurance Scheme, “The National Health Insurance card, with some level of charges, although unfortunate, is way better than living in Ghana here without any form of health insurance.
“Let us get on the health insurance first, and then, later, we can deal with the challenges,” the Chief Executive, who also led his entourage to call on the Paga Pio, Pe Charles Awiah Awampaga II at his Palace, said.
Mr Yakubu on his part, applauded the NHIA for its progress, initiatives and development over the years which had helped Ghanaians, especially people of the Region to seek health care services.
He thanked leadership of the Authority for its visit to the Region to interact with their staff for first-hand information, and to also observe for themselves activities and challenges on the ground, so that they could work to further improve their services.
The Minister appealed to the Authority to offer accreditation to private health facilities in the Region to enable them render services to residents in rural areas, especially in the Bawku Municipality and its environs where government health facilities were limited.