PrimeNewsGhana

NHIA to pay debts owed Cape Coast Hospital, others soon

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
nhia_debts_dr_lydia_dsane
Dr Lydia Dsane Selby

The National Health Insurance Authority, NHIA, will soon pay debts they owe Cape Coast Hospital and other hospitals in the country.

According to the acting CEO of NHIA, Dr Lydia Dsane Selby the budget has been approved and they will begin discussions with the Finance Ministry to pay the Hospitals they owe.

“We owe some hospitals about 6 months’ worth of their NHIA services. Now that our budget has been approved, we can begin discussions with the finance ministry about releasing our funds”

“It takes about 3 months for NHIA claims to be filed. We are now seeing the claims of those who were treated in December If every facility brought their claims within two months and we cleared within 2 months, they would get it quickly,” she added.

The Cape Coast Teaching Hospital (CCTH) in the Central Region in a letter to NHIA said they are likely to suspend its services to National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cardholders following the non-payment of health insurance claims running into millions of Ghana cedis.

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The non-payment of claims has forced the Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, Dr Eric Kofi Ngyedu, to send a distress letter to the Chief Executive of the NHIA for payment to be effected immediately to enable the facility to provide services to NHIS card holders.

The letter, dated March 11, 2019, with the heading: “Distress Call for The Payment of Claims” and signed by Dr Ngyedu, a copy of which is available to the Daily Graphic, said, inter alia: “As of the close of the year, our indebtedness for supplies amounted to GH¢5.85 million. Our inability to secure the needed supplies, you will agree with us, will ultimately affect the delivery of quality health service, a goal we are all aiming to achieve.

“The Cape Coast Teaching Hospital wishes to make a distress call for the payment of its claims following financial difficulties that it is going through.”

The call, the letter averred, had become necessary because “orders for the supply of essential medicines and non-drug consumables are not being delivered on account of our inability to pay overage debts due to suppliers”.

“The long delay in the repayment of claims seriously affects cash flow and the operations of the hospital. It is the considered position of the hospital that the continuous retention of 10 percent of claims submitted when payments were made continue to affect the ability of the hospital to recover the cost of procuring supplies.

“It has further added to our inability to fully meet our commitment to our suppliers. As of the close of the year 2018, a total amount of GH¢3,189,400.40 had accumulated by way of the 10 per cent retention since October 2014,” it said.

Enquiries at the Cape Coast Metropolitan Hospital showed that the NHIA was indebted to the hospital to the tune of between GH¢100,000 and GH¢150,000.

Responding to the issue on Citi FM, NHIA boss said: “It's not as if we owe the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital for years. We owe them for a few months; we have spoken to them and are working on that.”

“We are in discussions with the Ministries of Health and Finance to come out with measures that will help the NHIA to come out of its financial challenges.”

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