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12 October 2013

Public Accounts Committee of Parliament observed with concern Over NHIS Sustainability.

The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, in its assessment of the audited accounts of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), observed with concern the sustainability of the national health insurance scheme after it came to light that actuarial losses from the operation of the NHIA keep mounting year after year.

The chairman of the committee, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu enquired from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NHIA, Sylvester Menash if he sincerely believed the authority was sustainable in the face actuarial projections that show mounting losses in the next three years.
In 2012, after all operational deductions, the authority needed GH¢144.4 million to sustain its operations.
It was projected that this year NHIA would need GH¢306.9million to sustain its operations.
The projections for 2014 and 2015 were GH¢417million and GH¢515.7 million respectively.

In his answer, Mr Mensah explained that despite the projected losses, the national health insurance scheme was sustainable because effective mechanisms had been put in place to help plug all the loopholes in the administration of the insurance scheme to ensure that it finances its activities.
According to the CEO, the authority had commissioned clinical audit into its operations and that had helped to recoup GH¢22.2 million that went ‘missing’ in the operations of the scheme.
“The GH¢22.2million recovered as a result of the clinical auditing was in respect of overpayment and wrong claims,” he told the committee, adding that so far GH¢9 million had been paid into the accounts of the scheme.

The NHIA introduced biometric instant identity card registration and that it is coming up with a lot of innovations to help improve its service delivery, he said.
He said all leakages in the operations of the scheme are being sealed to ensure value for money and that paid-up registered members get the full benefit of the scheme.
The Deputy CEO in charge of Operations, Nathaniel Otoo said for the scheme to be more sustainable, the NHIA will continue to engage with stakeholders on annual or biennial basis to find ways of sustaining the scheme.

The committee members also queried officials of the Nurses and Midwives’ Council for allowing a contractor working on their office complex at Okponglo in Accra to unduly delay the project after he promised to complete the project within a year in 2006.
The contract sum was GH¢1,319,137 in 2006 but shot up to GH¢1,850,000 in 2011 because of the delay.
The acting registrar of the council, Felix Nyante, for his part, said the project had delayed because of the unavailability of funds, stressing that the funds for the project had not been released on time for the project to be completed on time.
Audited accounts of the Food and Drugs Board, College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Ghana AIDS Commission were also considered by the committee yesterday.
Sitting has been adjourned to Wednesday, October 16.

Source DailyGuide


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