The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) says the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) must collate all medical bills of persons held hostage as ‘hospital prisoners’ at various health facilities and press on the government to pay.
The call comes on the back of the exposé by GHOneTV of 14-year-old Mary Lamptey and 36-year-old Akua Ditua who have been detained for nonpayment of their bills after undergoing surgeries.
These two, are just a few of many grappling with similar circumstances in Ghana.
Starr News report a few weeks ago also uncovered a patient “detention room” at St. Joseph’s Hospital at Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
The room has been designated to detain patients who have been discharged but are unable to pay their medical bills.
The room has obsolete medical beds where the affected patients sleep.
However, speaking on GHOneTV, the General Secretary for the Ghana Medical Association, Mr. Titus Beyuo pointed out that the situation is an anomaly since the NHIA has the capacity to save the situation.
“Can we resource the NHIA well so it can solve this because believe me they are the most experience in managing health financing in this country,” the Secretary General disclosed.
He continued: “I think that all these cases must be compiled and given to the NHIA and sort out their bills and the government should pay. We must find a way of protecting them because everybody contributes (some form of a levy). Let me give one last example, all of us contribute to the street lights, everybody in Ghana contributes to the street lights so that the street light is available to all of us.
“Why can’t we all contribute to the poorest, there are countries where the rich pay more so that when the poor come in they receive free care. We should have a system and the panacea is the NHIA,” Mr. Beyuo stated.
The General Secretary also called for a complete review of the NHIA as it approaches its 20th anniversary celebration.