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NHIA given powers to prosecute over false claims

Dr Samuel Annor is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr Samuel Annor, has said that prosecutorial powers by the Attorney General’s (AG) Department will help his outfit deal with service providers who defraud it by the issuance of false claims.

Speaking at the opening of a three-day training in Accra for lawyers of the Authority by the AG’s Department, Dr Annor said prosecutorial powers by the AG became necessary as cases involving false claims by some service providers and clients had been pending in court for many years.

This he further stated has brought additional cost to the NHIA.

He expressed the hope that the trained lawyers would help expedite cases of fraud to ensure value for money.

Dr Annor said the Authority would also be seeking stiffer punishment for those who intended to defraud the National Health Insurance Scheme, by amending its laws.

He said the NHIA is putting measures in place for the protection of the public purse, which include strengthening of the Internal Audit and Quality Assurance departments.

“You should be very diligent when you are dealing with money, so that in the end you will not come and say you didn’t know, because it’s not going to be internal fines anymore, if there is criminal intent there will be prosecution,” he cautioned the staff.

Dr Annor said the NHIA is also cautioning providers to be very diligent in the claims they put in.

He said the NHIA is prosecuting a number of cases on false claims.

However, he said the slow pace and sometimes the fines are not deterrent enough.

Chief State Attorney at AG’s Department Evelyn Keelson said the AG is the mandated state institution to prosecute all government cases.

However, because of the limited number of lawyers at the Department, it is prudent to delegate some powers to other state agencies to work on its behalf.

She said the Attorney General granting the fiat to the NHIA to prosecute its own cases will give them the time and focus to deal with the cases expeditiously.

By Kwaku Antwi-Otoo|3news.com|Ghana

 

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