Only 6% of GH¢2bn NHIS fund was disbursed in 2021

Is NHIS working for the people?

A new report has revealed that the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) received just 6 percent of the total amount that was accrued by its Fund, a situation the Parliamentary Committee on Health says is affecting efficient health delivery in the country.

According to the Committee of the Whole report on the proposed formula for the disbursement of the National Health Insurance Fund for 2022, only GH¢127.47million out of GH¢2billion collected was released to the Authority in 2021.

The practice seems to be nothing new as the report further reveals that in 2020, the authority received 66.1 percent of what was collected, slightly higher than the 42.9 percent received in 2019.

It is on the back of this development that the committee, in its report, has urged the Ministry of Finance ‘to desist from the practice’.

It said the NHIA Act mandates the Minister of Finance to, within 30 days after the collection of the levy, cause the levy to be paid directly into the fund, and furnish the minister responsible for health, and the authority, with evidence of payment.

Furthermore, the NHIA Act enjoins the minister responsible for finance to present to Parliament, every six months, a report on the payment of levies into the fund.

Also, the NHIA is seeking to earn GH¢2million in 2022 from verifying the credentials of healthcare providers; GH¢1.17million from sale of tender documents; GH¢0.01million from NAVIS Application fees, GH₵0.37million from donations.

Other sources of revenue are: NHIL & SSNIT contribution of GH₵2.6billion, Premium (informal) – GH¢111.51million; processing fees – GH¢85.36; commission – mobile renewal – GH¢8.06million; income on investment – GH¢12.3million; road accident fund – GH¢0.29million, and other income – GH¢2million.

The report also detailed the summary of the proposed formula for disbursement of the fund for 2022 as follows: Claims for the year – GH¢1.6billion, NHIA Operational Expenses – GH¢390million, and Support to District Offices – GH¢45million.

The Health Committee of Parliament, before it went on recess earlier this month, was informed of government’s policy to cut expenditure of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) by 30 percent from GH¢3.6billion to GH¢2.6billion.

However, during its deliberation on the formula, the Health Committee objected to the 30 percent cut, as it was not in line with the general 20 percent expenditure cut announced by government.

The allocation was reviewed, and the 30 percent cut was eventually revised to 20 percent as requested by the committee.

Malaria Control Programme

The report further revealed that GH¢85million has been allocated for Malaria Control Programmes in 2022. The committee was of the view that the Malaria Control Programme is very essential to the health of Ghanaians, as Malaria remains the highest killer disease in the country.

It, therefore, recommended that the authority and the Ministry of Health invest more in malaria control by allocating more resources to the programme. It further recommended that the NHIA undertake a pilot on the IRS programme in, at least, two districts in Ghana this year to enable donor partners to assist in the scaling up of the programme.

The committee also noted with concern, the delay in accrediting newly commissioned health facilities, which is creating a challenge among citizens trying to access affordable healthcare.

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