HEALTHCARE SERVICE providers across the country have threatened to withdraw their services to National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card bearing members if government fails to pay the money it owed them.
According to the service providers, the inability of the Ministry of Finance to release funds to the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to pay service providers was largely compromising provision of quality healthcare service nationwide.
In view of that, they have given government up to Friday, October 31, 2014 to pay the overdue claims or they would withdraw their services to NHIS card bearing members and seek court redress.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra, Frank Richard Torblue, Executive Director of Health Insurance Service Providers Association of Ghana (HISPAG), disclosed that the NHIA owed the service providers GH?213 million which is for a four-month claim out of the seven months.
?It has become obvious that the Health Service Providers are being neglected to the extent that for the past seven to eight months providers have not been paid for claims submitted. This is unprecedented and should not be allowed to continue,? he said.
Mr Torblue said the neglect would also have its negative tendencies on the health of the entire nation resulting to low productivity, high cost of living and emergence of social and economic delinquencies.
He said the Chamber of Pharmacy had indicated its position not to supply pharmaceutical products to service providers who owe them for more than two months.
As a result, he said the service providers had resorted to bank loans and other private arrangements to be able to procure medicines from the supplies and give to NHIS subscribers.
Mr Torblue said if government fails to pay them the overdue claims by the end of the month, they would have no option than to resort to alternatives which include, charges for all essential medicines that may be provided to NHIS clients and handle all emergency cases as per the ethics of the medical profession without any reference to NHIS card among others.
?We would like to appeal to all health insurance card bearing members to bear with the hospitals, clinics, maternity homes, pharmacies and chemical sellers as we go through this difficult times,? he said.
By Cephas Larbi