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Drag Finance Minister before Parliament for misappropriation of NHIF – Minority

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Dr. Kwabena Duffuor - Minister of Finance

The Minority in Parliament on Tuesday reprimanded the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for drawing GH¢93 million from the National Health Insurance Fund to finance Social Intervention Programmes.

According to them, it was a violation of the orders of Parliament and called on the leadership of the house to drag the Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, to the House to explain why such a gross disregard to Parliament should occur.

A report presented on behalf of the Second Deputy Speaker Prof Mike Oquaye indicated that funds accruing to the National Health Insurance Fund shall not be used by government for any other activity other than the activities of the fund.

Mrs Eugenia Kusi, Deputy Minority Chief Whip, who made the call, stated that it was totally wrong for the government to take such a step.

Dr Mathew Prempeh, NPP member for Manhyia, said what government did was  illegal and fraudulent because the law was clear on the matter adding that the fund was established to undertake health care, subsidies for District Mutual Health Schemes, among others.

He said government was not honest adding that subjecting the fund to such whopping extra budget allocations could collapse the scheme.

Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, who stood on point of order, said he agreed to the submissions of Dr Prempeh, Member for Manhyia, but disagree with the diction of his submission especially with the word “fraud”, “sakawa” and others.

Mr Kwaku Agyemang- Manu, MP for Dormaa West (NPP), said the fund could collapse within two years if the trend continued.

He noted that if the National Health Insurance Scheme succeeded, it was the MPs who would benefit more as it would reduce drastically the number of people who queue on them asking for money to cure themselves and their children.

Parliament on March 23,2011 at a committee of the whole sitting, came out with the following formulae for the disbursement of the National Health Insurance Fund for 2011.

District Mutual Insurance Schemes for 2011 had an allocation of GH¢477.67, however, the formulae for the distribution of the fund captured an amount of GH¢772.87 million which was more than the approved figure.

The committee agreed that the National Health Insurance Authority should spend only up to the ceiling provided in the Appropriation Act 2011 and that the government should fund the gap which is GH¢295.20 in the supplementary budget of 2011.

The National Health Insurance Authority might also fall on its reserves fund in cases of emergency but should be reimbursed by government.

An allocation was made for the purchase of two Multi-Drug Resistant TB Research at a cost of GH¢ 15 million for the Central and Volta regional Hospitals while GH¢1 million would go into Multi-Drug Resistant for support research into Multi-Drug Resistant into TB to ensure reduction in the prevalence rate of Tuberculosis.

The committee decided that the funds allocated for the purchase of the Enhanced Membership Authenticity Systems should be moved into contingency to enable the board to exercise its supervisory mandate over the project.

It was decided that an amount of GH ¢1,150,000.00 should be taken from the contingency fund  to support projects earmarked to enhance support to district projects on health and therefore increased the allocation per Member of Parliament to undertake health related projects from GH¢35,000.00 to 40,000.00 for the year 2011.

Parliament had also approved an amount of GH ¢376,880,000.00 for the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to be released to the GETFund Secretariat for distribution to designated sectors and institutions.

Source: GNA

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