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18.02.2009 Health

NHIS owes Tamale Teaching Hospital GH¢1.7m


The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) owes the Tamale Teaching Hospital an amount of about GH¢1.7 million, a situation, which has affected the hospital's finances.

Dr Ken Sagoe, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, who announced this in Tamale on Wednesday during an annual Review Meeting of the hospital, appealed to the scheme to expedite action in settling the debt.

The review meeting was to take stock of the previous years' performances, assess failures and achievement and dialogue on measures to improve standards for quality healthcare delivery.

Other areas of review included the status of the medical students, mandate to conduct research and to identify new ways of raising the status of the hospital to befit a teaching hospital.

Dr Sagoe said, “As at the end of December 2008, the NHIS owes the hospital a total amount of GH¢1.7m and no efforts are being made to pay the money. Service providers are now chasing us for their money and anytime my phone rings I don't feel comfortable picking it because of the debt.”

He said apart from the NHIS debt, the hospital was saddled with another huge debt burden of about GH¢1.4m.

Dr Sagoe attributed the problem to the hospital's weak financial management system, which needed a resuscitation to ensure a formidable financial management system.

He said notwithstanding the myriad financial debt burden of the hospital, management intends to have a Neurological Surgical Unit and an Orthopaedics unit to address such cases.

He said the hospital intends recruiting 36 doctors and 100 nurses before the end of this year to increase the current staff strength.

Mr Hudu Issah, Northern Regional manager of the NHIS, when contacted as to why the delay in settling the debts, said it was the duty of the Metropolitan NHIS manager to promptly settle bills.

“If there is no money, the scheme then needs to do the right thing by applying for reinsurance”, he said.

He explained that monies were always transferred to the schemes regularly and that any scheme that runs out of funds must apply for the reinsurance quickly to forestall any eventuality.

Mr Tuferu Aminu, Tamale Metropolitan Manager of NHIS told the GNA that the debt was due to the hospital's delay in submitting claims and said a cheque for GH¢1.5m was ready to settle October 2008 claims.

He said the scheme is in arrears for the months of November and December 2008 as a well as January 2009 and gave the assurance that all the bills would be paid as soon as its headquarters paid money to the scheme.