The immediate past Minister of Health, Alex Segbefia, has said his administration will not accept responsibility for the current woes of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).
According to him, the current administration has failed to follow plans and policies it had in place to deal with the issue of the sector especially with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) arrears.
His response follows comments made by the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, who told Parliament that the scheme owes service providers and suppliers over GHc100 million Ghana cedis.But Mr. Segbefia told Citi News that there must be a meticulous government effort to acquire funds to deal with the issue.
“…We were aware of the debt that was going to come, we were aware of the payments and we had a formula and system to deal with. But unfortunately there was a change of government and they [NPP] made all manner of promises that they had clear plan to deal with it. The question now is that, what is the plan for the current government?”
The former Health Minister explained that, during their time in office, the NDC government made ten percent of total NHIA allocation to the Health Ministry for the clearing of debts of essential vaccines and other commitments.
He added that the NDC government also decided to make some allocations from the petroleum levy to support the NHIA to bridge it funding gap, but could not implement it because they were kicked out of power.
“The way we got around this was that when the NHIA pay, ten percent of the amount paid to the NHIA is made available to the ministry to deal with issues such as this. And so we had put in place a system whereby funding for payment of essential vaccines were to come from allocations which was given to NHIA.”
He said they realized that “if we got all the money, because of the increased uses of the NHIA, all the monies that were coming from the formula we would still have a funding gap or shortage within the NHIA.”
“It is for this reason that the NDC administration decided and you heard it in our manifesto that we were going to take money from the petroleum levy to add to the existing NHIA bill which would have also increased the ten percent that was supposed to given, and would deal with this payment that we have made for the essential drugs and also give the NHIA the extra funding that it requires,” he added.
He thus called on the current Minister to implement the proposal or better still implement recommendations from a report commissioned by the Mahama government into the NHIA on how to increase its revenue.
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana