Angry NHIS Card Holders Want ‘Bailout’

Some National Health Insurance Service card holders have told Citi News the latest policy of paying for some services their insurance should ordinarily cover was ‘frustrating.’

Some service providers have been forced to return to the ‘cash and carry’ system due to the National Health Insurance Authority’s failure to settle claims owed them.

A joint statement issued by the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), the Society of Private Medical and Dental Practitioners (SPMDP), and the Ghana Registered Midwives Association (GRMA) announced that card bearers would need to pay for their own medications and other costs that may come with their health care services.

Speaking with Citi News at the Adabraka Polyclinic in Accra, where she has gone to seek health care for her two children, Alice Oduro, who had registered all members of the family under the scheme said she was worried at the latest development.

‘The money I brought to the hospital is just 20 cedis. Now if I go to the pharmacy, the medicine will cost more than 50 cedis. I know they said the health insurance was free, so if they ask me to buy, I won’t have any money to’, she said, adding, ‘I’m feeling worried.’

An impatient older man could not hold her frustrations back and blame the government for the ‘mess.’

‘This particular government has spoilt everything. It doesn’t know the use of the NHIS’.  Despite attending the hospital with his NHIS card, he was told to purchase the medicines, because, ‘the NHIS does not cover it.

Now I have to go and find money to purchase some from other drug stores.’ For 65 year old Grace Addy, the story now has become simpler.

‘They don’t feel for us…if you have no money now, you will die’, she said with a stern face as she waits for her turn at the Out Patients Department.

‘What is the essence of my coming here today?’ another woman by her side asks…’all the medicines they need to give me, I have to pay for them.This government should pay the health service providers so that we can access our free health care’, she added.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah has assured the health service providers across the country that it will soon pay the arrears it owes them.


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