DRUG SHORTAGE NOT CAUSED BY NON-PAYMENT OF CLAIMS – NHIS

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The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has dismissed claims that
the non-payment of NHIS claims by the authority is the reason for the
acute shortage of drugs in some health facilities across the country.

“There is no link between claims payment and the shortage that appeared
sometime back,” Barima Sarpong, Public Relations Officer of the NHIA
told Class FM on Thursday, 1 November 2018.

For about a month, patients have been struggling to purchase some
medicines from health facilities ostensibly because these drugs are in
short supply.

Class News checks in some health facilities indicate that there is
indeed a shortage of some 52 essential medicines covered by the NHIS.

However, Mr Sarpong revealed that steps have been taken to resolve the challenge.

“I have called one facility today and I was told that a couple of months
back a few medicines were not in stock and even as we speak they have
begun getting them including paracetamol,” he said.

He added that there are no more shortages currently, explaining that the
initial challenge occurred as a result of the disparity in the prices
of the drugs due to an initial removal of the Value Added Tax (VAT)
component on them.

He said the suppliers were not ready to provide the medicines at a lower
price after the removal of the tax but the issue has been resolved
hence facilities without the drugs are expected to have the medications
in stock.

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