Pharmaceutical Companies To Cut Supply To NHIS

The Ghana Chamber of Pharmacy has served notice that it will cut the supply of drugs to health facilities that rely on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for upkeep. The chamber says the health facilities mainly members of the Christian Health Association of Ghana and the Health Insurance Service Providers Association are hugely indebted to the pharmaceutical companies. Spokesperson for the chamber Ernest Aboagye said �we will not be able to supply most of the facilities that are owing us�. He said the difficulties members of the chamber are going thorough will make it impossible for the chamber to supply drugs on credit beyond two months to NHIS subscribers. The NHIS is a form of National Health Insurance established by the government of Ghana to provide equitable access and financial coverage for basic health care services to Ghana. This service was meant to abolish the �cash and carry system� of health delivery that made it impossible for an individual to access health care after initial payments for the services have been made. Earlier this month the Christian Health Association (CHAG) withdrew services to subscribers of the NHIS because managers of the scheme are indebted to mission hospitals in excess of GH₵50 million. The service providers say the NHIA owes them in excess of seven months service to NHIS clients and are struggling to raise the needed funds to pay for pharmaceutical supplies. According to Ernest Aboagye, even though the service providers have informed them about the schemes inability to pay them they will no longer be able to cushion the loss they have incurred. Meanwhile health NGO, Universal Access to Healthcare Campaign, is taking government to save the NHIS from collapse. National Coordinator of the campaign Sidua Hor in a statement said the current challenges confronting the scheme defeats the purpose of its establishment and asked government to act fast in saving it from total collapse.