Cash and Carry back but with a new name

Cash and Carry has returned to the health centres across the country under a new guise, public-private partnership arrangement.

In what may appear to be a milder form of the Cash and Carry policy, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card holders may be attended to by health care professionals but will have to buy medications and pay for other costs that may come with their health care services.

This was contained in 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).

“Due to over seven months indebtedness of the NHIA to all healthcare providers, health institutions are unable to maintain the basic quality of care required of them.

“Health institutions lack the necessary medical and surgical supplies because Pharmaceutical companies have refused to supply medicines and other consumables on credit. The leaderships of the GHS, CHAG, SPMDP and GRMA feel embarrassed by this development,” they said in the statement.

The Executive director of CHAG, Peter Yeboah later told Joy News the action is a “distress call” meant to draw the attention of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).

He would not refer to the new policy as cash and carry, except to say that when NHIS cardholders come to the hospitals, they will be made to go buy their own medication and other consumables.

The NHIS policy was introduced in 2006, to replace the cash and carry system.

However the policy has gone through turbulent challenges over the past few years, with service providers crying  over debts owed them by the NHIA.

Peter Yeboah said the health providers have been forced to take public-private partnership arrangements in order to recoup costs incurred in providing health care.

“It is only a special arrangement,” he said, not cash and carry.

He said if the NHIS should reimburse them, they would revert to the old policy but still look forward to a more sustainable way of implementing the NHIS policy.

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