NHIA wants prosecutorial powers to deal with defrauders

By Kweku Antwi Jnr

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Dr. Samuel Annor has explained that prosecutorial powers from the Attorney General’s Department will help the authority to deal with service providers who defraud the Authority by the issuance of false claims.

He said prosecutorial powers by the AG has became necessary as cases involving false claims by some service providers and clients have been pending in court for many years.

Speaking at the opening of three-day training for lawyers of the Authority by the AG’s Department in Accra, the CEO said the pending of the cases in court has brought additional cost to the NHIA.

Dr. Annor said the NHIA will also be seeking stiffer punishment for those who intended to defraud the Scheme, by amending its laws.

He said the NHIA is putting measures in place for the protection of the public purse, which include strengthening of the Internal Audit and Quality Assurance departments.

Dr. Annor said it is imperative for the NHIA to ensure value for money by putting the right measures in place, especially when it was expecting an increase in funding.

“You should be very diligent when you are dealing with money, so that in the end you will not come and say you didn’t know, because it’s not going to be internal fines anymore, if there is criminal intent there will be prosecution”, he cautioned the staff.

Dr. Annor said the NHIA is also cautioning providers to very diligent in the claims they put in. He said the NHIA is prosecuting a number of cases on false claims.

However, he said the slow pace and sometimes the fines are not deterrent enough.

He expressed the hope that the trained lawyers will help expedite cases of fraud to ensure value for money.

The Chief State Attorney at the Attorney General’s Department, Evelyn Keelson said the AG is the mandated state institution to prosecute all government cases.

However, because of the limited number of lawyers at the AG’s department it is prudent to delegate some powers to other state agencies to work on its behalf.

She said the Attorney General granting the fiat to the NHIA to prosecute they own cases will give them the time and focus deal with the cases expeditiously.

Latest news from Prime News Ghana