The Private Health Facilities Association of Ghana has reacted to a donation made by the National Health Insurance Authority to the COVID-19 Trust Fund, describing it as unfortunate and troubling.
The National Health Insurance Authority donated GH₵250,000 towards the government’s COVID-19 Trust Fund despite its high indebtedness to health service providers across the country.
The gesture according to the Chief Executive Officer of the NHIA, Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby, is part of their cooperate social responsibility aimed at supporting the government’s effort to assuage the effect of COVID-19 in Ghana.
But Speaking to Citi FM in Accra, the President of the Private Health Facilities Association of Ghana, Samuel Boakye Donkor said currently the National Health Insurance Authority owes members of the association between 6 to 14 months arrears in claims.
He said the NHIS should prioritize paying them their monies rather than making donations.
“It is really something bad and painful. You owe us from last year July to date. Others have not been paid for 14 months. We just heard that the government has given you money to pay us and you have given that money back to the government saying it is your cooperate social responsibility. Paying us and enabling us to serve Ghanaians is also social responsibility. I recently sent a claim from February 2019, and when you had some money, you’ve gone to give to the COVID-19 Fund, what kind of life is this?” he said.
Meanwhile, the NHIS has justified the decision to donate to the fund.
The Manager of Communications and Media Relations of NHIA, Barimah Sarpong said the donation was not out of place since it is going into a “worthy cause.”
He told Citi FM that the NHIS is still paying claims and its donation will not in any way stop the payments.
“We don’t channel all our monies into the payment of claims. It doesn’t work that way. If we entertain this, very soon, we are going to ask why we are paying salaries when we haven’t paid claims… We have been paying claims and we haven’t stopped, so this GHS 250,000 cannot stop our payment of claims,” he said.
“This is not a donation that is going into entertainment of anything that is not worthy, this is a donation toward a worthy cause, fighting an epidemic in Ghana so it is not unwise to take GHS 250,000 from the budgetary allocation of NHIS meant for our corporate social responsibility to help fight COVID-19,” he said.