E/R: Gov’t Hospitals Announce Cash ‘n’ Carry System Over Failure Of NHIS

The failure of the National Health Insurance scheme has forces the Eastern Regional Hospital in Koforidua to announce the reintroduction of the cash and carry system of healthcare services.

The Hospital has directed that all patients going on admission must make an upfront payment of their medical bills before being admitted except elective cases.

In good time all medical services must be restricted to any patient on admission who fails to make part payment of their medical bills within 72 hours.

The hospital’s management has further directed that a compulsory deposit payment be made by patients or pregnant women before elective surgery.

Throwing more light on the directive, a senior staff of the hospital who spoke to reporters on the condition of anonymity said ‘the Nurses and Doctors have done no wrong to demand part payment before a patient is admitted.

If they don’t know they should ask instead of making false allegations of extortion or whatever, ” adding ” the new financial reforms aim at reducing patients indebtedness and maximize revenue mobilization for a robust Internally generated fund”.

In 2018 for instance, the hospital lost about Ghc350,000 to about 75 poor and needy patients who could not pay their Medical bills hence absconded while some 212 signed undertaken to pay their bills in installments which most could not fulfill their promise.

Again, a total of four hundred and thirty-one (431) patients treated and discharged at the hospital between January and June 2021 deferred payment of their medical bills through the intervention of the Department of Social Welfare and subsequently released from medical detention.

The Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr.Akoto Ampaw told the media at a function “as a policy in this Hospital we save lives before we look at money so even if you don’t have money we will take care of you.

So these patients requested for deferred payment which some have paid but majority have not which is quite problematic”.

Under the new Financial reforms, patients could only apply for financial undertaking for deferred payment only when he or she has made 50% payment of their medical bills.

 

 

 

By: Edwin Abanga

 

 

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