PIWA gives govt ultimatum to disclose payments made to health facilities

The Pharmaceutical Importers and Wholesalers Association (PIWA) has given the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) 14 working days to disclose the list of health facilities it had paid to enable its members access their one year arrears.

According to PIWA, health facilities had denied any payment from the NHIA following their locked up monies in a number of such facilities, contrary to claims by the Authority that it had authorised disbursement.

A press statement issued and signed by the Executive Secretary of PIWA, Mr Joe Fiifi Yamoah (Jr), said “failing this, we would advise ourselves on the next line of action to take to ensure that these health facilities settle their indebtedness to all our members.”

“We request that the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service and the National Health Insurance Scheme provide us with the list of payments they claim to have made to health facilities to enable us claim our over one year’ arrears so as not to compel us to take legal action against the affected health facilities,” the statement added.

The statement noted that members of the association were constantly faced with the threat of laying off staff and closure of businesses which was detrimental to business as some had placed in bids to access the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA).

“Since the NHIS itself is under the Ministry of Health, we would want the Minister of Health and the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to aid us in unravelling the truth to avoid any friction between us and the NHIS,” he added.

The statement said that there was an existing three-month waiting period within which health facilities processed their claims for onward submission to the NHIA for payments and for the NHIA to admit they owed six months arrears was totally unacceptable.

“Any delay in our payments adversely affects the credibility we have with our bankers and suppliers both locally and foreign which does not augur well for growth of any business,” it held.

Lauding the idea of Public Private Partnership (PPP) being propagated by government, the Association hoped that as partners, the government would remain fair and just as far as partnership for mutual benefit was concerned.

“We don’t want any arrears anymore. Two to three months after service delivery should be adequate enough to pay us,” it stressed.

The Chamber of Pharmacy Ghana earlier served notice that its members would no longer provide medicines to hospitals that had delayed in paying for drugs offered for more than three months.

This, it said, was to forestall any potential repercussions on the companies under the Chamber, from the delayed reimbursement by the NHIA through the Health Service Providers Association of Ghana (HISPAG).

The Chamber added that it would request payment guarantees before supplying any more medicines to hospitals that required their services.

Furtherance to that HISPAG had threatened to withdraw some of its services from March 2020 if arrears owed its members by the government through the NHIA were not paid.

According to them, no payment had been made for NHIA claims for up to 14 months.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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