The National Health Insurance Authority has apologized profusely to subscribers of the National Health Insurance Scheme who were in diverse ways affected by the four day suspension of services by the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG).
Communications Consultant to the Authority, Mr Eric Ametor-Quarmyne who rendered the apology on Joy FM’s news analysis programme Newsfile on Saturday, prayed that what happened would be “one of the hiccups which hopefully will not reoccur in future”.
He stated: “First of all I must on behalf of the National Health Authority and the Scheme apologise to our numerous subscribers across the country, particularly, those who might have suffered some inconveniences due to the withdrawal of services by the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), service providers with whom we contract to work.”
The Christian Health Association of Ghana – missions health facilities - suspended medical services to scheme cardholders on Monday over GH¢ 50 million owed them. CHAG however directed missionary hospitals on Thursday to resume the provision of services to persons with NHIS cards after government had settled its debt.
Mr Ametor-Quarmyne admitted that the strike action, the first since 2009 for a group of service providers to embark on an industrial action en bloc, was received with a blow, “it is not normal with our operation”, he said.
He said the delay in remitting the two and half per cent NHIS Levy by government, which occasioned the suspension of services accounts for about 70 to 80 percent of the total amount use in managing the scheme.
The premium from subscribers and the SSNIT contributions cover the remaining percentage.
He underscored that due to the irregular payments of the NHIS levy charged on VAT by the government, the Authority has not been able to invest as they would want.
He announced that the above challenge has forced the Authority to even disinvest, explaining the NHIA had to “disinvest to a large extent to enable us pay claims”.
Mr Ametor-Quarmyne stated, for instance, in 2009 when the funds were flowing, the scheme was able to make GH¢75.96 million on its investment.
The amount, he said, contributed about 18% of their income for that year.