The Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Ghana has said it will not hesitate to halt the supply of drugs to the various healthcare facilities funded by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) from July 1, 2020.
According to the Executive Secretary of the Association, Lucia Addae in a television interview alleged that health facilities which are largely government hospitals had not paid the Association for five years now.
“With the members of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, what we are saying is we understand that the government pays some of these health facilities. The challenge is that health facilities do not want to give us our money. You know we are in difficult times.”
“These are not in normal times so it is very difficult for everyone but we have been supplying medicine for five years, huge sums of money and we are not getting our money and we are still expected to supply. We are looking at withdrawing services effective 1st July. The consequences will be that some of the health facilities that render NHIS services will not have the medication,” Lucia Addae added.
She also added that several attempts to get their money has been met with excuses from the Health facilities.
“Usually when we ask, what they tell us is that they have not received their reimbursement from the government and because there is no transparency, you go and do not get the money and there is still an emotional appeal to supply medication. We have been doing credit business and it is not helping us.”
How much is owed the Association?
Ms Addae rehashed that funds owed the Association exceeded GHS300 million.
“The funds in question cover drugs that have been supplied to health facilities for five years now.”
She pointed out that health facilities have either sold these drugs in cash or on the National Health Insurance Scheme.
The Association’s concerns come weeks after the National Health Insurance Authority made a donation of GH₵250,000 towards the government’s National COVID-19 Trust Fund.
The move by the NHIA was however intensely criticised by some persons who suggested that the NHIA’s high indebtedness to health service providers across the country should be a priority, rather than making such a donation.
Additionally, the Chamber of Pharmacy Ghana has also raised similar concerns over non-payment of funds, forcing the Chamber to halt the supply of medicines on credit to National Health Insurance accredited health facilities across the country.