NHIA to clear 2 months debt arrears, Monday

The National Health Insurance Authority is set to pay two months of outstanding arrears owed service providers by the authority.

The new Chief Executive Officer of the Authority Dr. Samuel Annor gave the assurance that the monies will hit the accounts of the service providers by Monday.

He also indicated there will be regular settlement of the arrears until the outstanding debt is cleared.

The assurances come at a time when many of the service providers are threatening to revert to the dreaded cash and carry policy after years of indebtedness.

The Authority owes the service providers some Ȼ1.2 billion covering a 12-month period of arrears.

In April the Health Minister Kweku Agyemang Manu promised the 12-months arrears were going to be settled in a week.

However, the government was only able to pay just a month of the arrears, a development which angered the service providers all the more.

The Executive Director of the Christian Health Association of Ghana Peter Yeboah painted a grim picture of the situation at the health sector.

He told Joy News the scale and scope of debt owed his Association was “frightening” and will no doubt affect the 24-hour service delivery of his outfit.

His outfit alone was owed an amount of 200million cedis debt in a 12-month arrears, a situation he said left the Christian health Association virtually on its knees.

“There is an acute shortage of medicine and consumables.. We are unable to pay for our utilities and no longer credit worthy,” to purchase drugs from Pharmaceutical companies, Peter Yeboah indicated.

He said the piecemeal payment approach being adopted by the government will not help.

However the Chief Executive of the NHIA has promised that the entire amount will be settled in a short span, even if in batches.

“We want to thank them for the patience and tolerance in the mist of all these debts which we haven’t paid which have put a lot of the service providers into serious trouble.

“A lot of them are under attack from their bankers….We want to assure them that we are making every effort to try and get monies to pay them.

“This payment which is going out today which most subscribers will receive on Monday will be the fourth payment since we assumed office..” he said.

Dr Annor said the amount to be paid will be twice more than was paid last month and in June, another payment will be made.

“We’re working along the clock to try and double up and reduce the debt stock,” he promised.

Meanwhile, President Akufo Addo says government would settle all outstanding NHIS arrears within 18 months to secure future of the scheme. He said this when he met the Ghanaian community in Cape Verde as part of his three day visit of the country.

Story by Ghana||Nathan Gadugah