By Maxwell Nkansah
Members of the Private Health Facility Association of Ghana say pharmaceutical companies have stopped supplying them with drugs due to dept acquired by them.
Speaking to an Accra based radio station, the National General Secretary of the Private Health Facility Association of Ghana, Frank Torblu Richard made the revelations that private medical institutions have been left no choice but to render medical attention to patients inclusive in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) despite the inadequate funds provided by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA)
According to him, private medical facilities have been delayed a ten-month payment by the NHIA causing them to be indebted to pharmaceutical companies who now no longer give drugs to them on credit.
“Pharmaceutical companies have stopped giving us drugs on credit anymore because we owe them. We buy the medicine from them and we give it to the patients and we are not paid by NHIA for ten months” he added.
Mr. Frank stated, that funds gained by public facilities are based on special services rendered by the facility therefore the private institutions rely heavily on funds from the NHIA to completely run their operations,
“95% or more of our revenue comes from the NHIA. The remaining 5% comes from the services we render that do not fall under the NHIS. Money comes to the facilities when the services rendered do not fall under the NHIS so we heavily depend on the NHIA,”
Mr. Torblu Richard he Chief Executive Officer of Health Insurance Service Providers Association of Ghana HISPAG, speaking on the issue hinted that the shortage of drugs in some private facilities is owing to delayed payment by the NHIA to private health facilities therefore they do not have money to purchase the drugs., he, however, indicated a possible beginning of a cash and carry system for patients with the National Health Insurance Scheme as the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA)
He stated that nobody can stand up and walk to these institutions and ask why they don’t have these drugs because they don’t have funds to procure these medicines some facilities are having arrears of their workers.
According to him, the situation private health providers have found themselves in and if actions are not taken now, people will visit a private health facility medicine and they would be asked to pay or buy the drugs somewhere.
The National Health Insurance Scheme was established by the government of Ghana in 2003. A program is a form of national health insurance established to provide equitable access and financial coverage for basic health care services to Ghanaian citizens.