William Nlanjerbor JALULAH/Top News Ghana
The Association of Private Healthcare Providers (APHCP) in the Upper East Region has threatened to stop providing services effective November 1, 2016 if the government does not reimburse its members their National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
With a membership of 18, APHCP in the Upper East Region says its member facilities contribute about 40% of total Out-Patient Department attendance in the region of which 97% of the clients are NHIS card bearers.
In a letter to the minister for Health and signed by Dr. Francis Asaanah and Dr. Aduko Amish, Regional President and Secretary of the association respectively said the current NHIS claims indebtedness now stands at between 9 months and 10 months. While providers have submitted claims up to between June 2016 and August 2016, the NHIS has reimbursed members only October 2015 and November 2015 for a few others.
According to the statement, some private facilities in the region have not been able to pay salaries of their workers for the past three to four months due the incessant delays in reimbursement of claims. The association explains this is because providers rely solely on the reimbursement from the NHIS to pay salaries and to procure other logistics for their operations. Meanwhile, this situation is not what pertains in the government and quasi-government facilities.
The association also laments more than 50% of private the facilities’ revenue goes into the payment of salaries, whereas the government and quasi-government facilities’ salaries are paid by the government. It is against this background that it is asking the government and NHIS to consider making regular monthly payments to its member facilities a topmost priority to enable them meet their operational needs, especially in the payment of salaries.
It also stated the non-payment of their claims leaves them in a situation that makes them unable to meet their statutory obligations of paying their workers’ social security contributions to SSNIT and income tax to the Ghana Revenue Authority in a timely manner. This situation the association says results in legal actions being taken incessantly against the owners and administrators of its member facilities.