The Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) has begun suspending medical services to National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cardholders from Monday.

NHIS Boss Sylvester Mensah
NHIS Boss Sylvester Mensah

Even though the Ministry of Health has expressed its readiness to pay its outstanding claims, the group according to our checks has begun turning away NHIA card holders.

Earlier, the group issued a communiqu? in which members stated that the NHIA owes members, 183 health facilities nationwide operating under the CHAG to the tune of over 50 million Ghana cedis as of the end of January 2013.

The group which acts on behalf of 19 churches which operate health facilities and caters for about 42 percent of the total health care needs of Ghanaians stressed its member hospitals cannot continue to render services which are not paid for.

As result of this, all missionary hospitals nationwide have begun refusing service to patients who are registered under the NHIS.

According to sources close to the group, the NHIA has failed to pay legitimate claims submitted by the hospitals. The development, the source said, has put the facilities under excessive financial strain.

The source also hinted that CHAG will reconsider its decision to suspend services to NHIS cardholders only when outstanding claims are paid in full. ?But for their failure, we are taking this decision,? he said.

Although CHAG Acknowledged the impact of the action on public health, it said, the Association has no option than to embark on the ongoing action.

Information received is also that a crunch meeting held between NHIA and CHAG on the issue yielded no positive result and hence the action.

The Minister of Health, Sherry Aryittey had also come to the rescue, but could not prevent the group from embarking on its action.

 

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