KNUST Hospital Reverts To Cash And Carry Due To NHIS Indebtedness Of About One Million Ghana Cedis.

National Health Insurance card holders who seek medical care at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Hospital have been left in limbo.

They cannot access services at the facility because the administration is insisting on upfront payment because there is no money to run the hospital.

Officials say National Health Insurance Authority owes the hospital about one million Ghana Cedis in claims, and has made no payment since the beginning of this year.

Director of University Health Service, Dr. Yaw Bio, says the hospital cannot continue serving insurance clients under such circumstances.

At about 10a.m, when Luv News visited the hospital, the Out-patients Department was virtually empty.

Normally, this should have been a peak period, especially on a Monday, but I counted only about 20 patients.

KNUST Hospital caters for the heavily populated Ayigya suburb of Kumasi, and tens of other communities in and outside the university catchment area.

It is the next point of referral in times of crisis at the Komfo Anokye Hospital.

Nurses and other hospital staff, from casual observation, appear to be on holiday today due to the drastically reduced attendance.

Patients with NHIS cards are turned away on arrival at the records counter, except a few ones who could afford to pay cash in order to see a doctor.

Some of the stranded patients expressed their frustration to LUV NEWS.

“Am feeling very sick this morning that is why I came here but they are telling me they can’t attend to me because they aren’t taking NHIS anymore.

“The woman says I can only see the doctor if I can pay but I don’t have any money even at home,” a patient emotionally told me as she struggles to breathe.

According to Dr. Bio, the NHIA District and national offices are yet to respond to a written notice filed about two weeks to authority on its indebtedness.

He says under the circumstances, the only option is to withdraw the health insurance services.

“Since January this year, we have not received any payment from the NHIA with respect to our claims” Dr. Bio said.

According to him, capitation grant in the region of 30,000 to 40,000 Ghana Cedis given to the hospital is not enough to cater for the huge number of national health insurance card holders that come to the facility to seek medical attention.

“We have come to the point that we cannot continue to cater for patients. We can’t”, Dr. Bio reiterated.

Dr. Bio said the hospital in highly indebted to suppliers and other service providers as a result of the NHIA’s reluctance to pay their claims.

“I am sorry. I want to apologize to the public it is not that we don’t want to do it [receive NHIA card holders] but we cannot just meet this demand of our patients that is why we have suspended [the NHIA cards].

Other health insurance service providers had given indication of suspending services to card holders.

So who is next after KNUST Hospital? Only time will tell.

Story by Prince Appiah

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