"We’ll reject NHIS cards until debts are settled" - Society of Private and Dental Practitioners

The Society of Private and Dental Practitioners says its members will continue to reject National Health Insurance Scheme(NHIS) cards at its facilities until the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) pays about eighty percent of the total debt owed private hospitals.

Government recently released only 180 million cedis to the NHIA to offset part of its 460 million cedi debt owed service providers.

Despite government’s intervention the Society insists it will revert to accepting NHIS cards only if the NHIA settles eighty percent of the debts owed member hospitals.

Speaking to Citi News, the National President of the Society Dr Odoi Agyarko said the practitioners had lost trust in the NHIA because it had failed to fulfil its promise of settling its debt.

“There is a particular facility that told us that them over 300,000 ghana cedis and they paid them only 16,000.Some were promised that they will receive a cheque but as of yesterday, they had not received the cheques.

“We have not been treated fairly. We have not been told the truth and so now no one trust, no one believes what they say. We will only rescind our decision only when 80 percent of the monies have been paid to about 80 percent of our facilities,”Mr. Agyarko stated.

Dr Odoi Agyarko further stated the Society will henceforth issue a moratorium of three months after which it will then turn away NHIS card bearers.

“When issued the statement we said there will be a caveat that says that if you owe us for more than three months we will not announce it again. We will automatically stop taking the cards from people who come for NHIA because we cant be going up and down, releasing statements etc. They know they have to pay us so we see no reason why we should go beyond three months.”

There have been several calls for the NHIA to settle arrears owed various hospitals.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) recently made a similar call, saying the Authority had failed to fulfil its promise of settling the arrears.

A press statement issued by PSGH in April indicated that “service providers under the NHIS have suffered for far too long, and this is having a serious negative impact on pharmaceutical society”

Many criticised government for failing to settle the arrears however the Minister of Finance, Mr. Terkper told Parliament in March that statutory payments including arrears of 2013 and 2014 amounting to a little over 1 billion cedis had been released to the NHIA.

By; Marian Efe Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana