Minority: Set up NHIA board now!
The Minority in Parliament has threatened to block all transactions brought before Parliament involving the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) until a governing board of the authority is duly inaugurated.
Parliament is expected to adopt the report of the whole committee on the proposed formula for the disbursement of the National Health Insurance Fund for the year 2017 this week, after the proposed formula for disbursement was laid before the House on June 20.
But addressing the press in Accra on Tuesday 27 June, the ranking member of the Health Committee of Parliament, Joseph Yieleh Chireh, said it would be illegal and against the National Health Insurance Authority Act 2012 (ACT 852) for parliament to give approval to the proposed formula.
He said: “When copies of the proposed formula were distributed to members, we on the Minority side were taken aback because the National Health Insurance Authority currently has no governing board. As per section 42 of Act 852, the act establishing the National Health Authority, the formula is to be presented to the house after the board of the NHIA has considered and approved it. To quote the relevant section to back our point, section 42 (1) reads as follows: ‘The authority shall allocate and disburse monies from the funds in order to achieve the objective of the funds. (2) The authority shall within three months after the passing of the Appropriation Act submit to parliament for approval the formula for the disbursement of the fund. The authority shall in the preparation of the formula and the disbursement of monies from the fund ensure the sustainability of the scheme. In absence of the board of the National Health Authority, approval of the formula will be illegal and against the National Health Insurance Authority Act (Act 852).’”
The lawmaker also indicated that the delay in constituting a governing board is a demonstration of lack of urgency in dealing with such issues, contrary to the claim by President Nana Akufo-Addo that he is a man in hurry.
“The failure of the Ministry of Health, and for that matter the government of the NPP and President Nana Akufo-Addo, to constitute a governing board for the National Health Insurance Authority six clear months after taking power is either a demonstration of incompetence or a lack of urgency contrary to the claim by the president that he is a man in a hurry,” he said.
The Wa West legislator further noted: “Failure to adhere to laid down procedure and disrespect for laws, institutions, and strictures in seeking approval for the 2017 National Health Insurance formula is yet another manifestation of the lawlessness that has characterised this particular NPP administration despite the self-taunting of its credentials as a political party that believes in the rule of law. We call on the Minister of Health to withdraw from parliament the 2017 NHIA formula with immediate effect and hereby serve notice that the Minority will not accept any referral from the NHIA and the Ministry of Health until the governing board has been properly and duly inaugurated.”