GMA calls on NHIA to suspend payments to MPs, others

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has called on the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to suspend all non-core expenditures on parliamentarians and the Ministry of Health with immediate effect.

It has also charged government to ensure direct transfer of the National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) to the NHIL account and not the current detour through the consolidated account.

These were contained in a communiqué read by president of the Association, Dr Frank Ankobea, at the end of the 4th National Executive Council Meeting of the GMA at Jirapa in Upper West Region.

It also marked the close of the 60th anniversary lecture of the GMA.

“In the light of the current financial challenges facing the NHIA, the GMA – being mindful of the legal requirement of the NHIA to offer financial support to its partners like the MOH and Parliament (parliamentarians) – recommends that those non-core expenditures should be suspended,” Dr Ankobea said.

The GMA’s statement comes in the wake of a defence of the payment by the chief executive of the NHIA, Dr Samuel Annor, during a presentation at the GMA’s 60th anniversary public lecture, which was on “Healthcare Financing in Ghana: 60 Years On”.

“[For] us all people who are interested in health, let’s hear the call of the people,” Dr Annor said.

“If we have to revise the current arrangement; and I tell them these payments, these transfers are not against the laws as of now because within our budget… our budget for these partners are incumbent upon request, and we disburse them according to requests from these partners,” Dr Annor said.

Dr Annor added: “So if there is a general request from this country that these things should be dissociated, let us hear the voices, let us rebrand, restyle the whole funding scheme of the Scheme and then move forward”.

His criticisms had emanated from leaked documents that showed payments by the NHIA to Member of Parliament, Adwoa Safo, and other supposed government communicators for different reasons.

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