Michael Asare, a Keta-based businessman has accused the Keta Municipal Hospital of allegedly selling drugs and services under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to subscribers of the Scheme.
He said the practice was undermining government’s policy and denying the poor access to healthcare services and called on the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service to investigate the facility and stop the practice.
Mr Asare told the Ghana News Agency that in November last year, his wife went to the facility for assisted delivery and was asked to pay GHC400, with some drugs not receipted, though paid for.
He alleged that his wife was charged for theatre, laboratory and anaesthesia top-ups and drug fees to the tune of GHC234.50, though they were all covered under the NHIS.
Mr Asare said on January 02, this year, he visited the facility for malaria treatment and again was charged a drug fee of GHC4.00.
He said he was also charged GHC11.00 for fasting blood sugar, which is also under the NHIS and that one receipt for anaesthetic services had the name, Cynbert Enterprise and not the name of the Hospital.
Mr Asare said in May, this year, he took his foster daughter to the Hospital for a sprained wrist and made to pay GHC40.00 for scan, drug fee of GHC14.00 and GHC29.00 for flucloxacillin, all said to be covered under the NHIS.
He alleged that checks of claims submitted by the Hospital at the NHIA indicated that the Hospital submitted claims covering the bills he already paid for.
Meanwhile, Dr. Asare-Bediako Kwasi, Medical Superintendent of the Hospital, said Mr Asare was “simply asked to pay the difference in the cost of the drug at the market price.”
He said the Hospital explained to him that due to pro-longed reimbursement by the NHIS, clients were being asked to pay top-ups so that the facility could continue to provide services.
“We are all working towards the success of NHIS but due to some challenges we are compelled to ask patients to pay some top-ups and official receipts are given. I must say it is not true that we asked Mr Asare’s wife to pay GHC400.00. Never. Not true,” the Medical Superintendent said.
An official at the Municipal Health Directorate who spoke to the GNA on anonymity said the situation was a system problem and that co-payment had been deferred at all health facilities following the allegation.
The source said Mr Asare was given official receipts except in only one case where the receipt was questionable and that authorities at the Municipal Health Directorate were handling that case.
It said health facilities had been directed to depend on medicines from the regional medical stores and not drugs from the open market to avoid billing NHIS clients for drugs covered under the Scheme.