The Private Health Facilities Association of Ghana (PHFAoG) has called on government to expedite action on payment of outstanding National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) claims tokeep its members in business.
It alleged thatin the last eight months, no health facility on the NHIS has been reimbursed for services rendered amidst prevailing economic hardship.
“Since November, and others as far back as September last year, none of us have received claims yet prices of goods and services continue to rise astronomically and this is affecting our members and grinding most of our businesses to a halt and also threatening our contribution to advancing healthcare in the country,” Vice President of thePHFAoG, Mr Samuel Boakye Donkor, told the Ghanaian Times in an interview.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the Association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM)held in Accra yesterday to review developments within the health sector and build synergies among members to advance the medical practice.
Mr Donkor, while highly commending the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) for recently reviewing service charges upwards by 30 percent, expressed fear that if outstanding debts were not cleared in time, members could not benefit from the increment.
“In the past four years, we have operated with very poor tariffs and we express our appreciation to the new management for listening to our cry and bringing this increment which took effect from July 1, 2022.
However, if payment of outstanding claims are further delayed, it could put us in a worst situation because if you have rendered a service of GH¢ 1.00 and are reimbursed two years later, when will a new rate be paid and members derive the full benefit thereof?”
The Vice President while requesting for continuous engagement between the association and stakeholders to improve service delivery appealed to the NHIA to consider reviewing the validity of tariffs yearly to keep up with socio-economic times.
Mr Donkor, addressing the AGM earlier on, mentioned activities being championed by the association including pushing for a merger of regulatory bodies like Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HeFRA), NHIA and Pharmacy Council to conduct oversight inspection and licensing of facilities, strengthening referral systems especially among private health facilities and undertaking Continuing Professional Development (CPD) assessment for members.
“The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has given us the green light to now access the District Health Information Management System (DHIMS) and we are engaging the Ministry of Health (MoH) to also have nurses posted to our facilities,” he stated.
The Vice President implored members not to compromise on ethical standards and code of practice despite challenges saying, “Remember that our primary mandate is to save lives and we must ensure that our clients get the best of service when they patronise our facilities.”
The Head of Operations at HEFRA, MrAgyeman Badu, said the contribution of private health facilities to Ghana’s health sector could not be underestimated.
He said it was in view of that, that HEFRA had rolled out interventions like the Mobile Online Information System (MOIS) platform to efficiently engage health facilities to improve quality of services.
“The new face of HEFRA is committed to keep highest standards and ensure that facilities are at peace to operate as well as offering patrons, quality of services,” he said.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH