Hold on with the top-up cost to reduce mortality and morbidity-Minority to NHIS providers

Minority in Parliament has urged health providers to hold on with the imposition of the top-up costs.

Hold on with the  top-up cost to reduce mortality and morbidity-Minority to NHIS providers

Following threats by the Private Health Facilities Association of Ghana(PHFAG) to pass on "top-up" payments (expenditures) to clients within their facilities, the Minority in Parliament is calling for a delay in the imposition.

This, according to the Minority will afford them enough time to impress upon the government to make payments to save lives. Already, unconfirmed reports the Minority noted, have indicated that some facilities have started passing on the top-up costs to their patients.

"As alarmed as we are by these reports, we are not surprised considering the current economic conditions and the fact that the government has not responded to the series of statements, appeals, and threats made by various players within the pharmaceutical value chain", an excerpt of a statement read on behalf of the Minority by the Ranking Member on the Health Committee of Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh.

According to the Minority, unconfirmed reports suggest that some facilities have already started passing on the said top-up costs to their patients, a situation they decried. The Minority bemoaned the claims by the PHFAG regarding the extensive delays in the payment of claims by the National Health Insurance Authority(NHIA), the free fall of the cedi, and the rising inflation on drugs and non-medical consumables all of which the government is much aware of, have accounted for the decision.

A joint press statement, the Minority referenced, as issued by the Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy(GNCOP), the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and the Pharmaceutical Importers and Association of Ghana(PMAG), Pharmaceutical Wholesalers Association of Ghana(PIWA) indicating their decision to withdraw credit to health facilities will spell doom for the health sector should they go ahead. "... citing the unprecedented levels of inflation and non-payment of claims by the NHIS as reasons for the which they are withdrawing all credit lines to health facilities, we expected that the government would intervene with appropriate measures such as transferring to the National Health Insurance Fund(NHIF) all outstanding collections of NHIL and Social Security and National Insurance Trust(SSNIT) contributions as mandated by the National Health Insurance Act 2012(Act 852) section 52(1)", the statement noted disclosed. The Minority alleged that there has been what it termed as an unwavering effort to collapse the National Health Insurance Scheme by depriving it of funds.

"As we speak, the highest release of NHIL levies collected was in 2016 when 86% of collections were released to the NHIA. The lowest on record is that of last year where out of the GHS2.056bn government collected, paid only GHS127m or 6.2% to NHIS fund", the statement continued.

"Despite countless calls by our side on the Minister for Finance to release National Health Insurance Levies and the component to SSNIT contributions meant for the scheme to the National Health Insurance Fund but all to no avail", he further said.

Report by Prosper Kwaku Selassy Agbitor