NHIA arrears: Jirapa St Joseph's Hospital to go cash and carry in 7-days

The Jirapa St. Joseph’s hospital in the Upper West Region has asked clients of the facility to brace up for a return to the “cash and carry system” if claims owed them by National Health Insurance Authority is not paid.

Medical Superintendent of the St. Joseph’s hospital, Dr. Richard Wudah-Seme said promises made to pay the amount at the end of April have yielded no results.

As at the end of December, 2016, the NHIA owed the facility 11 months claims amounting to 2,510,783.04, he said.

He gave the startling revelation at the International Day of the sick organized by the hospital at Jirapa.

As at May 2017, we have only been reimbursed for the month of January, March and April of 2017 with the rest of the months outstanding.

“We had assurances that by the end of April 2017, a significant reimbursement would have been done but I am very sad to report to all of you that as we speak there still have been no show,’’ Dr. Wudah stated.

The Jirapa St. Joseph’s hospital is a 193 bed facility and serves a projected population of about 99,565.

Due to its strategic location; it is the preferred choice for clients in the region and beyond.

Patients’ attendance have seen remarkable increase over the last decade. The hospital has expanded its services to include the provision of neonatal intensive care as well as breast and cervical cancer screening units.

The hospitals pharmacy is depleted and clients of the facility for the past few months have been buying drugs outside the facility.

Dr. Wudah-Seme said they are at their wits end in administering the hospital without funds and will be forced to return to the cash and carry system next week if the claims owed them are not paid.

‘‘We are therefore sending notices to our cherished clients to prepare themselves for the return of the cash and carry system next week. We have been forced to take this painful decision due to the inertia on the part of the relevant authorities.

“As I speak to you patients on admission have had to go out and buy their own drugs, surgeries have been cancelled because we are unable to procure basic consumables. Nosocomial infections are on the ascendency because we cannot provide cleaning agents and even gloves for out audiles to keep the facility clean,’’ he added.

Another key challenge faced by the hospital is in the area of infrastructure. The 23 bed surgical ward which originally meant for only males is now being shared by both sexes. He blamed the situation on the delay in the completion of the administration block which has been used as Pharmacy block, Dr. Wudah-Seme noted.