By Fred Sarpong
The Deputy National Propaganda Secretary of National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Solomon Nkansa has said that the current government used the National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) to subsidize some sectors of the economy.
According to him the government did this in the best interest of Ghanaians. Mr. Nkansah said this on Monday on Happy 98.9 FM political programme, ‘YEPE AHO’.
The programme discussion was on how some hospitals have started not accepting the National Health Insurance (NHI) Cards from Ghanaians who seek medical treatment, as a result of government inability to pay them their arrears. Example is Christian Health Association, who has promised not to accept NHI cards again.
Mr. Nkansa indicated that the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the immediate pass governing party left a porous and a paralyze Health Insurance for Ghanaians.
He stated that during the introduction of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) some years back, civil society group’s complaint to NPP that 10 years later NHIS will have problems. ‘Less than 10 years, see what is happening in the sector’? he added.
The Deputy National Propaganda Secretary of NDC said there were problems associated with the scheme before NDC government took over in 2009. ‘Some of the problems were that, we realized some personnel do not have a minimum qualification to even be at some positions at the scheme office. We have to restructure the system so that we have qualified personnel to manage the system,’ said Nkansa.
Also, he said that NPP started the NHIS without facilities in the three Northern Regions. ‘The suffering of NHIS is not managerial problem but mismanagement of the financial aspect of NHIS,’ Nkansa said that.
Meanwhile, Mr. Asamoah Gyamfi, a member of NPP communications team said the 4 billion Ghana Cedis arrears in the 2013 is include NHIS and District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) debts. He asked that why should the government claim its do not have money to run the country?
‘There is 2.5% of NHI levy on every item purchase in this country and that alone is enough to run NHIS in Ghana,’ he added.
Gyamfi stated that NPP government left about GHc300 million in the coffers of NHI and that amount should have been managed well to run the scheme. ‘The money has been misused. The Christian Health Association is operating NHI system with overdraft,’ he added.
He accepted that during the NPP time, there were some delays in payment of settlement to these operators, but not up to six months of arrears. ‘Not even at a time that NHI system become bankruptcy,’ said Mr. Gyanfi.
He said the only way the government has is to raise bonds to pay these kinds of debts, ‘but Ghanaians will be paying those bonds,’ he emphasized.