|NHIS arrears to be cleared over seven months|
The Hon. Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, at a forum in Kumasi with stakeholders of the heath sector has revealed government's plan to clear a jaw-dropping debt of 1.2 billion cedis it is owing to health service providers under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
According to the minister, providers would be reimbursed for a month's claim by April and May ending respectively. From June to July, facilities are to expect a payout for four months worth of claims whilst August will be used to clear the remainder of the arrears.
He further assured that following the clearance of all the backlog of claims, the government would be committed to a monthly payment of claims on a consistent basis.
Pharmacies and the pharmaceutical industry in general have been severely affected by the excessive delay in reimbursement of claims to service providers. Most hospital pharmacies have had their shelves depleted, making access to medicines by quite challenging.
The cost of medicines, according the NHIS constitutes more than 40% of total claims reimbursement, a phenomenon which can be considered as an outlier in the health insurance industry and pose as a remarkable threat to the scheme's ultimate sustainability. The previous government made some attempts to reform the NHIS payment model to direct the scheme onto a path of sustainability.
It is however not clear what measures this government would adopt to guarantee the robustness of the scheme.