The Committee of the Whole of Parliament, on behalf of Members, has commended officials of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for prudent and efficient financial management, as well as helping to eliminate its funding gap.
It was revealed on the Floor of Parliament that, the scheme made excess receipts of Forty Five Million Ghana Cedis (Gh¢45m) over payments, which is unprecedented.
According to a report by the Committee which was laid before the House, an amount of One Trillion, Two Hundred and Five Million, Three Hundred and Eighty Thousand Ghana Cedis (Gh¢1,205.38m) was received from the Ministry of Finance for the 2017 fiscal year, with One Hundred and Seventy Seven Million, Two Hundred and Twenty Thousand (Gh¢177.22) also received from the same Ministry being premium, processing fees and other incomes, making the total receipts as One Trillion, Three Hundred and Eighty Two Million, Six Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (Gh¢1,382.60m); whilst total payments amounted to One Trillion, Three Hundred and Thirty Seven Million, Six Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (Gh¢1,337.60m).
The report also revealed that, indebtedness by the Scheme has been reduced to about Two Million Ghana Cedis (Gh¢2m) due to prudence and commitment to excellence.
It would be recalled that the proposed Formula for disbursement of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) for the year 2018 was laid before the House on Wednesday 14th June 2017, and subsequently referred to the Committee of the Whole for consideration and report in accordance with Article 103 (3) of the Constitution, and per the Standing Orders of the House.
It would also be recalled that, the government of Ghana established the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) through the enactment of the National Health Insurance Act, 2003 (Act 650), with the aim of delivering accessible and affordable healthcare to all citizens in Ghana, under the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS), with the Act being repealed and replaced by the National Health Insurance Act, 2012 (Act 852).
The Committee’s report further revealed that on accrual basis, total budget expenditure of the Scheme for the year ending 2017 amounted to Gh¢1,719.85 million, whilst the annual budget for same amounted to Gh¢2,261.74, resulting in a difference of Gh¢541.89 respectively.
The Scheme projects to rake in Gh¢2,375.24 in Revenue in 2018, with the Scheme aiming at improving its ICT capacity across the country in the same year (2018), in order to help deal with current challenges.
The Scheme also intends to commission Fifteen (15) new district offices for use in 2018, estimated to cost Gh¢25 million.
Active Membership of the Scheme in 2017 stood at 37% of the country’s population of 28,956,587 in 2017.
The Scheme also projects to extend this to cover 42% of the country’s population, with active membership expected to be 12,242,268 in 2018.
The Committee, however, observed that in spite of the foregoing, inadequate funding continues to remain a problem for the sustenance of the scheme, hence the call on the government to find additional sources of funding to address the financial and logistical needs of the Scheme.
The report of the Committee was adopted and approved by the House accordingly.