Bagbin: NHIS worse off under Addo-Addo

bagbinThe Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has described as untrue, claims by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that confidence has been restored in the National Health Insurance Scheme.

Delivering the second State of the Nation Address last week, the president noted that hospitals no longer collect extra monies from patients as was the case during the previous administration.

But this claim has been challenged by Mr. Bagbin who insists checks with hospitals in his constituency and the health ministry suggest otherwise.

“If you look at the NHIA, I think we are having a nosedive. I wasn’t surprised when the current Chief Executive complained about the challenges he is facing,” Mr Bagbin who is also the Member of Parliament of Nadowli-Kaleo stated.

“Now a lot of health facilities are charging fees and that is an area he will have to look at. And so the right picture is not being painted,” he said in an interview.

Recently, the Chief Executive Officer for the NHIA) Dr. Samuel Annor appealed to labour unions to consider supporting the health scheme with one percent of their salaries in order to enhance its performance.

Dr. Annor explained that the current 2.5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) used in running the scheme has not been enough hence the need for extra funds to support it.

He said prioritising the health of citizens in every country was important and urged citizens to willingly contribute towards its maintenance.

He also urged authorities of the health funds to be accountable to citizens at all times, saying, “This will motivate citizens to contribute any amount without holding back.”

According to him, his utmost responsibility is to ensure the scheme performs better for all Ghanaians and pledged his readiness to ensure it becomes a reality.

But  the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union  (ICU) has served notice it would  petition Parliament over the National Health Insurance Authority’s plans to increase the levy on the salaries of formal sector workers to fund the country’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

According to the ICU, the proposed increment is unacceptable.

The General Secretary of the ICU, Solomon Kotei, argued that the Authority should rather focus on closing the loopholes so as to increase revenue.

“There has been a lot of malfeasance going on at the NHIA which its investigations have not been known to us.

We were informed that a lot of people have run away with some quantum of money. Are they going to concentrate and retrieve those monies or it is gone for good? he said.

According to him, “We have people who are benefiting from the NHIS who do not contribute anything to it. I’m referring to foreigners who are in here.”

He further tasked the Authority to get the informal sector to also contribute to the running of the NHIS, saying, “Is it because by reason of our contribution to Social Security then you come to us on that again?”

Asked if the union will petition Parliament over the Authority’s move, he replied, “Exactly”.

-starrfmonline.com

 

Caption- Mr. Bagbin

 

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