The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has appealed to members of the public to report illegal charges at health facilities for appropriate action and redress.
Mr Abdul Latif Issahaque, Northern Regional Director of NHIA, said charging for services covered by the NHIS was a cost to the subscribers and the NHIA.
He said such practices defeated the purpose of the health insurance scheme, which was instituted to make health care available and affordable to all.
Mr Issahaque was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Tamale in reaction to some NHIS subscribers complaints of payments at health facilities to receive treatment even though their subscriptions had not expired.
The NHIS subscribers said they were asked to pay for almost everything used on them or required for their treatment, saying this made them feel that the NHIS was not working effectively.
They expressed their concerns when the GNA interacted with them at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH), Tamale Central Hospital and the Tamale West Hospital to ascertain how NHIS subscribers assessed the treatment they received at the hospitals.
Mr Mantapa Siahadu Gad, a relative of a patient on admission, said on Saturday, March 27, this year, the brother was transferred from the Bimbi Hospital in the Nakpanduri-Nasuan District of the North East Region to TTH after he fell from a tree.
Mr Gad said, “We got to TTH at 1900 hours but they started attending to us after midnight. They wrote medicines including bandages for us to buy and we spent GHc245.00 to buy them. Apart from what we bought, they have not given him any other medicine. Today (Monday) they asked us to go and do a CT scan on his head. They say they do not have a CT scan machine at the TTH. So, they showed us a pharmacy just opposite the TTH to go and do it and we did it and paid GHc480.00.”
He said although his brother was a valid NHIS subscriber, he was spending so much money.
“Actually, I am not happy with what is going on because when he fell, his head hit the ground and ever since we came, they have not done anything about it. It makes me feel that the NHIS is not working.”
A lady, who did not want to be named, said she was delivered of a baby at TTH on March 17, this year, and was discharged on March 20.