Stop diverting NHIL to other sectors — Osagyefo Agyeman Badu
The President of the Bono Regional House of Chiefs, Osagyefo Oseadeeyo Agyemang Badu II, has urged the government to refrain from diverting the National Health Insurance Levy to other sectors of the economy.
“I can say without fear that more than 70 per cent of the funds are diverted to other areas,” he said.
He explained that the situation was negatively affecting quality health delivery.
Osagyefo Agyemang Badu, who is also the Omanhene of the Dormaa Traditional Area, was speaking at the third Annual General Conference of the Private Health Facilities Association of Ghana (PHFAoG) in Sunyani in the Bono Region last Wednesday.
The conference was organised on the theme: “Addressing the human resources gap in the private health facilities towards achieving Universal Health Coverage; the role of PHFAoG and the state”.
Osagyefo Agyemang Badu appealed to the government to, as a matter of priority, to ensure full disbursement of amount accrued by the fund to the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to enhance quality health delivery.
He said although previous governments were at fault, “the situation is getting worse under this administration”.
“I’m sending a warning to the government that if such practice is not stopped, I will go to court to ask for clarification as to whether the amount of money meant for the NHIA can be diverted".
“If that happens, no one should say I am a trouble maker; rather I want to make sure that there is improvement in health delivery”, Osagyefo Agyemang Badu said.
He appealed to the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders to equip the country‘s health facilities with the appropriate medicine, medical tools and equipment to avoid the situation where citizens were rushed to other countries for treatment.
Osagyefo Agyemang Badu expressed concern about the numerous abandoned hospital projects scattered across the county.
He explained that some of the projects had been abandoned for several years and no one had given the reasons why work had stalled.
Osagyefo Agyemang Badu, therefore, appealed to successive governments to complete projects initiated by previous governments to avoid huge losses.
He asked the government to improve health facilities in rural communities since health care was crucial in the lives of every citizen.
Osagyefo Agyemang Badu, however, commended the government for initiating the Agenda 111 hospital projects in districts and municipalities without hospitals.
“It is a good initiative.
I will like to tell citizens to commend the government for the initiative”, he said.
Osagyefo Agyemang Badu said private health facilities had been contributing significantly towards the achievement of targets set out in the heath sector and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG three.
He said services rendered by the private sector in its entirety complimented the government's effort to achieve the objective of building a robust and resilient economy.
Osagyefo Agyemang Badu said the increasing number of private health facilities had contributed to the improvement of the economy and reduced the number of unemployed nurses and midwives.
For his part, the President of the PHFAoG, Dr Samuel Kwame Buabeng-Frimpong, called on the government to help address human resource challenges of private health facilities to improve the overall health care quality.
“We appeal to the government to help reduce the human resource challenge confronting us, we continue to witness the exportation of the needed staff to countries such as Barbados, the UK, US and Canada”, he said
Dr Buabeng-Frimpong said PHFAoG had a role to play but the government of the day had a greater role to ensure unquestionable access to quality health care in the health facilities.
He also mentioned the apparent scarcity of healthcare professionals and the delay in reimbursement of the NHIA claims as some of the challenges facing the private sector.
Dr Buabeng-Frimpong said while the private health facilities struggled to get the professionals to work in their facilities some public health institutions were overstaffed.
He, however, gave the assurance that despite those challenges they would not relent in their effort to support the government towards achieving targets in the health sector.