Gov’t diverting health insurance funds into infrastructure projects – Dr. Richard Anane

Former Health minister is questioning government’s decision to dissipate funds meant for the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme on infrastructure  projects.

“Are you going to build [road] infrastructure for dead people?….do we want our people to die because of ill-health while you put up infrastructure? I think we must put the people first” Dr. Richard Anane told Joy News Tuesday.

According to Dr. Richard Anane, government was not respecting a 2012 stakeholder agreement to allocate 1% of the 2.5% NHIA levy on consumer goods and services to the Scheme.

“I believe that is where our problem is. It is all about priority and I am sorry to say government is not prioritizing health insurance” he told Joy News Tuesday.

Rather, he claims, proceeds from the levy is being paid into the Ghana Infrastructure Fund.

The Fund already benefits from allocations from revenue accrued of Ghana’s oil.

With monies for healthcare mixed up with monies for roads, it has been difficult for the NHIA to pay accredited hospitals and health care centers because a chunk of the money goes into road construction, Anane alleged.

The once vibrant National Health Insurance Scheme is on the verge of collapsing because the NHIA has in recent years struggled to pay health care providers across the country, prompting some of them to boycott providing service to card holders.

On countless occasions, the Ghana Chamber of Pharmacy, Health Service Providers Association of Ghana, and Christian Health Service Providers Association have withdrawn services to NHIS card holders because government owes them.

Anane is questioning why government is continuing with the policy of paying NHIA levies into the road fund.

Nonetheless, Dr. Anane who oversaw the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme in 2005 believes that a 1% increment proposed by the Authority will help the Scheme survive. Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline|Edwin Appiah|

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