The same Auditor-General’s report suggests the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) owes 78 health institutions across the country to the tune of GH₵51.4million as at December 31.
This is in contravention of Regulation 38 of the National Health Insurance Regulations, 2004 (L.I.1809), which requires that a claim or payment of health service submitted to the scheme shall be paid within four weeks after receipt of the claim from the health care facility unless there is a legal impediment.
Another major issue the report brought to light is the indebtedness of health institutions to medical suppliers.
In all, about 57 health institutions owe Regional Medical Stores to the tune of GH₵14million for drugs and non-drugs supplied to the various facilities during the year under audit.
Apart from health institutions in the Volta, Ashanti, North East, Central and Bono East Regions, the NHIA owes outstanding claims to some health institutions in the remaining 9 regions.
In an effort to avoid any legal tussles, the report recommended that heads of the institutions should make good the outstanding payables and ensure creditors are paid promptly.
The question to ask is whether the statutory funds have been made available to the NHIA; and if not, this may account for these anomalies. As citizenry, we are gravely concerned that such an important public sector like health is being deprived of crucial funds to enable it play its important national role.
We hope that these revelations will enable the appropriate authorities to realise that health delivery will be seriously impacted if these anomalies are not corrected in the short- to medium-term.
Every year, when the AG’s Department releases his report a lot of infractions are detected – but what’s puzzling is that we appear not to be learning, or even correcting our ways. It makes for sad commentary, but we ought to use these reports to improve governance in our respective institutions.