Friday, July 14, 2017

Mahama Govts GHC 100m Debt Hurting Health Sector – Minister

9:14:00 AM

The Ministry of Health has said the huge debt left by the John Mahama government is taking a toll on the sector.

According to the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, the Mahama government committed a debt of over GHC 100 million cedis which they are struggling to settle and concurrently run the sector.

Those of us in the Ministry are working very closely with the Finance Minister to try to see how they can upscale some resources for usThe bottom line is that the previous government has committed debts not in the Ministry of Finance, just Ministry of HealthThere is a debt overhang of close to about 134 million Ghana cedis as at the end of December 2016The little goods and services that we got this year, we had to pay out of 53 million , 43 million to ensure that we pay for co funding to give us vaccines so that is the grim situation, the Minister said. 

He made these remarks on Wednesday after he met staff of the Pantang Psychiatric Hospital who were demonstrating over the encroachment of the Hospitals land. This is not the first time the Minister has spoken about the huge debt the Mahama government left.

He made similar comments a few weeks ago while commenting on the Chamber of Pharmacy Ghanas threats to halt supply of drugs to health providers under the National Health Insurance Scheme due to outstanding debts. Mr. Agyemang â€"Manu said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration had been forced to deal with the situation because the outgoing government failed to leave enough funds to settle these arrears.

The huge debt is affecting the health sectors ability to deliver on its mandate. On Tuesday, it was revealed that governments indebtedness to UNICEF, the international body that distributes vaccines globally had led to a shortage of vaccines in the country.

Government had to transfer about $10 million to the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) for the procurement of polio and measles vaccines for the country, to save the situation.

NHIS is broke, we cant pay our debts â€" CEO cries

The debt hanging on the shoulders of the Health Sector is also affecting the National Health Insurance Scheme.

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr. Samuel Annor a few weeks ago disclosed that the Scheme is broke and unable to pay service providers.

The NHIA is at a stage where one will say it almost bankrupt; in that we have no reserves and we owe people so much. And this has come about because we have increased our membership so much but we have not increased the funding appropriately, Mr. Annor said.

By Ghana Leaks Blog

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