The Private Health Facilities Association of Ghana has expressed its displeasure over the donation of GH₵250,000 by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to the COVID-19 Trust Fund.
The National Health Insurance Authority on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 donated GH₵250,000 towards the government’s COVID-19 Trust Fund.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the NHIA, Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby, the kind gesture is part of their cooperate social responsibility to support the government in alleviating the impact of the pandemic in the country.
But speaking to an Accra based radio station, the President of the Private Health Facilities Association of Ghana, Samuel Boakye Donkor said the conduct by the NHIA is inappropriate considering the high debt it owes them and that the Authority should prioritize paying them their monies rather than making donations.
He added that currently, the National Health Insurance Authority owes members of the association between 6 to 14 months arrears in claims.
“It is really something bad and painful. You owe us from last year July to date. Others have not been paid for 14 months. We just heard that the government has given you money to pay us and you have given that money back to the government saying it is your cooperate social responsibility. Paying us and enabling us to serve Ghanaians is also social responsibility. I recently sent a claim from February 2019, and when you had some money, you’ve gone to give to the COVID-19 Fund, what kind of life is this?” he said.
NHIA Justifies decision to donate
Meanwhile, the NHIA has justified its decision to donate to the fund indicating that payment of claims cannot stop the Authority from making donations.
According to the Manager of Communications and Media Relations of NHIA, Barimah Sarpong, the donation was not inappropriate since it was meant for a ‘worthy cause’.
“We don’t channel all our monies into the payment of claims. It doesn’t work that way. If we entertain this, very soon, we are going to ask why we are paying salaries when we haven’t paid claims… We have been paying claims and we haven’t stopped, so this GHS 250,000 cannot stop our payment of claims,” he said.
“This is not a donation that is going into entertainment of anything that is not worthy, this is a donation toward a worthy cause, fighting an epidemic in Ghana so it is not unwise to take GHS 250,000 from the budgetary allocation of NHIS meant for our corporate social responsibility to help fight COVID-19,” he added.