What kind of life is this? -Outrage as Ghana’s ailing NHIA donates ¢250k to Covid-19 fund

Officials of the NHIA making the donation

There is widespread disquiet among a section of the public, especially managers of private health facilities over a donation by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to the National Covid-19 Trust Fund.

The NHIA on Wednesday, April 22, presented a ¢250,000 donation to the newly established Covid-19 Trust Fund, despite its heavy indebtedness to health facilities across the country.

The development, however, has attracted widespread criticism both on social and mainstream media, as many say managers of the distressed NHIS have lost focus.

One of such critics is the president of the Private Health Facilities Association of Ghana, Samuel Boakye Donkor, who said the NHIS should prioritize paying them their monies rather than dolling out monies unnecessarily.

He said the National Health Insurance Authority is yet to pay members of the association between six to 14 months arrears in claims.

“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 corporate 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?” Mr Donkor is quoted by CNR as saying.

The NHIA on the other hand appears to justify the decision to donate to the fund.

Speaking to CNR, Barimah Sarpong a Manager of Communications and Media Relations of the NHIA said:”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”.

About Covid-19 Trust Fund

Following the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus in Ghana, the government established a fund donation aimed at fighting the deadly virus.

Many entities and private citizens have been contributing their widow’s mite as the government appeals for funds to end the fight.

A board of trustees led by a former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, has been set up to manage the fund.

The country’s Covid-19 case count currently stands at 1,154 with nine deaths and 120 recoveries, according to the country’s health services.  

By Jonathan Ofori, Daily Mail GH

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