The Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Health Policy Research and Analysis is blaming the Health and Finance Ministers for the failure of the National Health Insurance Scheme(NHIS).
According to Dr Thomas Anaba, both ministers co-piloted the scheme into its highly indebted state thereby making it impossible for it to effectively perform its mandate.
Speaking on JoyNews‘ The Pulse, he explained that until the appointment of both ministers, the scheme has never performed this badly.
He stressed that at this time the scheme should have been able to run effectively without any hitches.
Touching on Kwaku Agyeman Manu’s role in the schemes predicament, he said the Health Minister had misappropriated the little funds in the coffers of the Authority by paying nursing trainees and employing more than necessary staff.
“The first thing he did was to appoint more Deputy Directors to the Authority [NHIA] drawing salaries and other things.
“The other thing was to apportion some of the NHIA money to pay nursing trainee allowance. You don’t take money from service providers or patients to pay nurses in school.
“They took some of the money to give to parliamentarians to act as PROs for the National Health Insurance. We kicked against it everybody was quiet, it continued,” he said.
Dr Anaba emphasised that during the appointment of the Health Minister, the President touted him as the most qualified person to occupy the space but his performance proves otherwise.
His comments come on the back of concerns by the health minister that he pays cash for healthcare because of extortion by some service providers under NHIS.
“I pay when I go to Ridge Hospital. I pay when I go to UGMC. I don’t even present my insurance card…,” he said on Tuesday, April 18.
Whilst speaking on Mr Ofori-Atta’s contribution, he added “the most important thing that has made the NHIS not to be functioning well is the refusal of the Finance Minister to transfer monies collected in the name of National Health Insurance as taxes to the Authority.”
He stressed that despite the law which mandates the Minister to make payments, he failed to adhere.
“The law says that the Minister must transfer monies collected in the name of NHIA to them one month after that and report to the parliament about how the money has been disbursed,” however he added the minister had failed to do so.
The Executive Director continued; “We have called several times for this to be done but all fall on deaf ears. characteristic of this government not paying heed to any calls from CSO, concerned Ghanaians, and listening to the plight of Ghanaians.”