Former Medical Director of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Dr Thomas W Anabah, is livid over the ‘hypocritical’ posturing of the Ghanaian media over the indebtedness of government to health service providers under the National Health Insurance Scheme which has been in arrears over the last 9 months.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of Habana Hospital in Tamale, government owes service providers over GHC 600 million while the finance minister is holding over GHC 1billion from a levy Ghanaians contributed to provide some financial risk protection when they seek healthcare.
Dr. Anabah revealed that, NHIA owes serves providers as far back as August 2021. And after threats to stop service delivery from the private providers, the scheme only releases ‘peanuts’ and this has rather found its way to make the news headlines.
Government through the ministry of finance, released an amount of GHc100 million as part of payment arrears owed National Health Insurance Service providers. This was after the Private Health Facilities Association threatened to partially withdraw its services if government fails to pay them their over 9 months to claim arrears.
According to the association, they never received any payments for their services since July 2021, and several attempts to have the Ministry of Health address their grievances were not forthcoming.
Through a social media post Friday, April 14, 2022, Mr. Anabah, as he shared a frontpage story captured by the Publisher newspaper highlighting the release of an amount of GHc100 million as part of payment arrears owed National Health Insurance Service providers, stated that the “praise singing journalism” in Ghana is one of the country’s biggest problem.
Why are our journalist not making headlines with the money the finance minister is illegally holding onto? Dr. Anabah asked.
Shame onto the Ghanaian media! You are part of our problems in Ghana. Praise singing journalism is a problem in Ghana, he added.
Speaking to the press in Parliament last month, Ranking Member on the Health Committee of Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh chastised the government for ignoring the concerns of the health service providers.
Since July 2021, the Minister of Finance has not paid the levies collected in the name of the National Health Insurance Levy to the NHIS Fund and for that matter, the service providers are threatening to withdraw their services. This is how bad it is. So if you go to any health facility in this country that accesses NHIS subscribers, don’t be surprised if they turn you away because they have not been paid since July 2021. If you suffocate health facilities like this, how do you expect them to operate?