Hon. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Ghana’s Minister of Health, has expressed his displeasure with some service providers under the country’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), whom he accuses of extortion.
He claims that poor subscribers are overcharged and denied vital services that they have already paid for, rather than benefiting from the insurance policy.
On Tuesday, April 18, 2023, at the Ghana Health Service Senior Managers Meeting 2023, Mr. Agyemang-Manu said that the complaints from NHIS subscribers revealed that the program was not operating properly.
He highlighted his own experiences to support his assertion that, despite being an NHIS subscriber, he had to pay out of pocket for medical services when he went to hospitals like Ridge and the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC).
“I pay when I go to Ridge Hospital. I pay when I go to UGMC. I don’t even present my insurance card…,” he said. “The complaints that are coming about how those who are subscribed to health insurance are treated in almost all our facilities…”.
The Health Minister expressed concern about the increasing number of lawsuits being filed against health professionals for negligence. He noted that the number of such cases has risen significantly since he took office six years ago. He urged senior managers of the Ghana Health Service to take measures to address the situation and prevent further instances of extortion and negligence.