NHIS collapse? Patients must sue health insurance providers - NGO

Mr. Samuel Agbotsey of IDEC Ghana has called on patients to sue health insurance providers when they reject their NHIS cards.

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The Integrated Development and Empowerment Centre (IDEC Ghana) has called on patients to sue health insurance providers that will turn down the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards.

Reports indicated that patients holding the NHIS card were turned down as private health insurance providers are demanding arrears covering six to eight month owed them by government.

Some health insurance providers said patients will seek health care if only they pay.

In a statement signed by the Executive Director of IDEC Ghana, Samuel K. Agbotsey, “We believe that as part of efforts to access their rights to quality health care as guaranteed under the local and international laws and conventions, these individuals have registered and duly paid their premium as prescribed under the National Health Insurance Act 852 of 2012.”

“This is an agreement binding on both parties therefore it is subject to be enforced for compliance in case of default. That is why under the Act, subscribers are refused services when they failed to renew their Health Insurance Cards upon expiration.

“With the above background, we believe that there is no acceptable reason to turn-away a subscriber when he/she showed up at a health facility for treatment without adequate compensation for default.

“We therefore encouraged anyone that is turned away to sue the authorities of the health facility that turned them away, joining them with The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) and the Attorney General.

“We plead with lawyers all over the country to make their legal services available to these subscribers free-of-charge especially the elderly, women, pregnant women, nursing mothers, children and people leaving with disability,”  it added.

Meanwhile, the government has directed the release of GH¢180 million for the payment of arrears owed health insurance providers.

The money is expected to clear part of the more than GH¢460 million owed National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) service providers across the country.

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