Chop Chop At Health Insurance

SOME BOARD members of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) are reportedly taking advantage of the proposed Capitation programme of the NHIS expected to kick start soon in the Ashanti region, to amass huge sums of money. About 10 board members of the NHIA, including Sylvester Mensah, the CEO, allegedly blew over GH¢40,000 within a spate of three days just to travel to Kumasi to monitor the state of the Capitation programme in the Ashanti region. A source who divulged this shocking information to DAILY GUIDE said the 10 NHIA board members that made the trip were each paid GH¢1000 as per diem during the three days that they spent in Kumasi. He also alleged that each member took home ¢1000 as travelling allowance before accepting to travel from Accra to Kumasi, about two weeks ago. The figures mentioned above, when added up, indicate that each of the 10 persons that made the trip pocketed about GH¢4000 before travelling back to Accra. Aside the monies, the said NHIA board members were reportedly accommodated at the Miklin Hotel in Kumasi, with Mr. Sylvester Mensah being housed at the Golden Tulip, Kumasi. DAILY GUIDE is however not aware of the exact amount that was spent on accommodation, food and fuel by the NHIA board members during their short stay in Kumasi. The purpose of the visit was to enable the NHIA board members, at first hand, observe how the Capitation programme, which is earmarked to start in the Ashanti region on January 1, 2012, was doing. The NHIA board members, during their stay, were taken round some hospitals in Kumasi by O.B. Acheampong, who is the Research and Development Director, NHIA. Meanwhile, reports gathered by DAILY GUIDE have it that the Capitation programme is likely to fail when implemented as several key medical facilities are not happy about its implementation. Mr. Acheampong and his executives were said to be aware of the distress situation but were refusing to admit it as they were doing everything to make sure that the Capitation programme was implemented as scheduled, without considering whether it would survive or not. Mr. Acheampong, who is aware of the hospitals that are against the implementation of the capitation programme, intentionally took the visiting NHIA board members to hospitals that were in support of the programme. A source hinted that Mr. Acheampong intentionally refused to take the visiting team to hospitals such as KNUST Hospital, Suntreso Government Hospital, Obuasi Government Hospital and the Manhyia Hospital that are against the capitation programme. He was said to have taken that action because he knew that the NHIA board members would get to know from staffers at those hospitals that the capitation programme was bound to fail. When contacted, Mr. Acheampong said it was not prudent for the NHIA board members to visit all the facilities in the region within a spate of three days. He noted that those making allegations about the NHIA, notably the Capitation programme, were ‘senseless’ and should not be given attention by the media. As to whether the NHIA board members were given GH¢1000 as per diem, he noted that they were paid some monies but he was not privy to the exact amount paid. He said board members in every organization were financially compensated for services rendered, therefore it was not necessary for people to make wild noise about NHIA board members receiving monies for services rendered. Asked about the current state of the Capitation programme, Mr. Acheampong noted that things were going on well and that the programme was on course. He however failed to state the exact date that the Capitation programme would start, saying that the media would be informed when the programme would start.