Thursday, May 27, 2010



From: Joseph Ziem, Tamale

Pieces of details of a Clinical Audit report by the Northern Regional Office of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), have revealed that some officials of the Scheme have allegedly colluded with service providers or vice versa, to overbill, overprice and dispensing drugs which were not on the medical list for patients.

This corrupt act according to the report, had yielded an estimated Gh¢1.1 million which have gone into individuals pocket and those individuals in question are now to cough the money.

If this figure is anything to go by, it is assumed that the remaining 12 schemes which were yet to be probed by the Clinical Audit Team of the NHIS, would at the end realize about Gh¢3 million.

This startling revelation was made at a meeting organized last Thursday by the National Health Insurance Authourity (NHIA) at the instance of its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sylvester Mensah who was in Tamale, the capital of the Northern Region of Ghana with some of his deputies, to meet with NHIS Managers of the various Schemes in the region.

The Northern Regional Manager of the NHIS, Tanko Rashid Computer who made this disclosure cited Gushiegu, Savelugu-Nanton, Tolon-Kumbungu, Saboba-Chereponi, East Gonja and Tamale Metropolis as schemes which the Clinical Audit report has indicted, adding that, the Gushiegu NHIS Manager has been suspended for now.

He also mentioned God Care Community Hospital and Deahas Maternity Home in Tamale, and Bruham Clinic at Savelugu in the Savelugu-Nanton District as the service providers which in one way or the other have overbill, overprice or dispensing drugs which were not captured on the NHIS medical list to patients, saying “they had been suspended and their owners asked to re-apply for consideration”.

He appealed to the CEO of the NHIA to endeavour to equip all the schemes in the region with computers and other logistics to enable them work effectively to realize the government’s dream of implementing the onetime premium of the NHIS.

The meeting was aimed at identifying the loop holes or leakages in the system and blocking them to ensure increased in revenue mobilization for the Authourity and also to see how managers could contain cost in their operations or work in the various districts.

Sylvester Mensah announced in an interview with the media including The Daily Dispatch that the NHIA was proposing GH¢50.00 as payment by every Ghanaian individual towards the onetime premium.

He said if after deliberations at the various stakeholder levels the GH¢50.00 was approved, government and for that matter the NHIA would implement that. However he also mentioned that the proposed amount was subject to review.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mensah has stated categorically that the Authourity was not going to accept any resignation letter from any Scheme Manager for now until July 2010 when thorough investigations are completed on the various schemes. So far, a total population of about 1,487,171 is registered with the NHIS in the Northern Region which operates eighteen schemes out of the 20 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.

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