Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Mr. Sylvester Mensah, has allayed fears being expressed in certain quarters regarding the survival of the scheme.
The rising deficit being incurred by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is seen by some analysts as a threat to the survival of the scheme.
Analysts have pointed to the actuarial balances available to the NHIA on the NHIS, which reveal that for the year 2012, the scheme incurred a deficit of GH˘114.42 million, while in 2013, the deficit was expected to go up to GH˘306.91 million.
Similarly, the deficit is expected to reach GH˘417.08 million and sour up to GH˘515.71 million in 2015, according to the actuarial analysis.
However, Mr. Sylvester Mensah, who appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament with other high-ranking officials of the Authority to answer audit queries, allayed the fears of Ghanaians about the sustainability of the scheme.
He explained that management has adopted a number of cost containment measures to curtail the rising cost of claims.
He mentioned plans to undertake staff rationalization exercise and the introduction of standard prescription forms as some of the measures being pursued.
Mr. Mensah revealed that these measures adopted by the Authority were yielding results.
He cited the establishment of a clinical audit regime to reconcile diagnosis to ensure that they were consistent with that of the Ministry of Health.
He stated that the clinical audit in 2010 uncovered an overpayment of GH˘22 million as claims out of which GH˘9 million had been reclaimed.
Mr. Mensah also said it was projected that such measures would enable the scheme to reduce claims service providers by about nine percent.
When told by the Chairman of the PAC and MP for Dormaa Central, Mr. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu to produce the actuarial balance for 2016, in compliance with the Authority’s agreement with the World Bank, Mr. Mensah pleaded to be given more time to submit it.
Late payment of withholding tax, statutory deduction of $26,661.68 and the no physical verification of cash at year end, contrary to best management practices, were some other issues that came up for consideration. The Auditor General’s recommendation was that in future, cash count exercises must be done periodically and that reconciliation ought to be carried out so as to fix any differences in the accounting records.
Source: The National Democrat
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