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Embezzlement threatens healthcare delivery in Ghana
By Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, Ghanadot

Accra, Aug 25, Ghanadot - The wanton spate of embezzlement and its related activities has threatened the survival of Ghana’s infant National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

The scheme was developed in 2000s to provide affordable and quality healthcare to Ghanaians is limbo.

Today the Ghanaian media have saturated with orchestrated and master planned fraudulent activity being carried 11rvenue collectors of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

The embezzlement saga has that, the management of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital has suspended 11 of its revenue collectors for allegedly embezzling GH¢170,001.61 between January, 2007 and June, 2008.

The alleged embezzlement was uncovered following a special audit into the accounts books of the hospital after some anomalies were detected by Egyaboaful Anan-Kakabaah, the Director of Finance of the hospital.

The Chief Executive of the hospital, Professor Nii Otu Nartey, then commissioned a special investigation co-ordinated by Mr Anan-Kakabaah with the Internal Audit Agency into the accounts books of the hospital, which resulted in the findings.

The team is still looking into the cases of other revenue collectors and this might raise the amount embezzled.

The 11 revenue collectors, who have all been suspended following alleged acts of impropriety against them, are Charles Acheampong Mensah, GH¢38,431.35; Mark Tanlongo, GH¢34,098.01; Judith Belinda Degboe, GH¢ 19,585.34; Francis Mensah Sam, GH¢l6,927.22; Joseph Aryee, GH¢16,560.65 and Portia Quansah, GH¢9,070.32.

The rest are Florence Mensah, GH¢9,492.26; John Edem B. Tamakloe, GH¢7,728.l7; Charles Campbell, GH¢6,544.03; Christoph Kumapley, GH¢5,433.03, and Ebenezer Neequaye, GH¢4,928.29.

They are also to face a disciplinary committee set up by the management of the hospital.
The police are also to take over the criminal aspects of the financial scandal.

Narrating how the revenue collectors perpetrated the crime, Prof. Nartey told the Daily Graphic that the revenue collectors put a hard paper between the original receipt and the third copy to write the real name of a patient as it appeared on the Admission & Discharge (A & D) book at the wards/units on the original receipt copy.

He said the perpetrators would then use a fictitious name on the third copy, which was for monitoring and reconciliation purposes.

According to him, on the third copy, they would then issue amounts which were far lower than the amount recorded in the A & D books and pocket the difference.

Citing an example, Prof. Nartey said after allegedly collecting GH¢178.06 from a patient on December 4,2007, a revenue collector at the Maternity Ward paid only GH¢6 into Korle Bu's accounts and issued a receipt in the name of a non-existent patient which was different from the record in the A & D book.

He said the revenue collector then allegedly pocketed the difference of GH¢172.06.

The Chief Executive said that was how the rest of the others allegedly perpetrated the crimes.

He said in reconciling the accounts, it was detected that the names in the A & D books did not correspond with the names in the receipts issued against them.

Most often, he said, the duplicate copy, which should also be kept in a box, could not be traced.

Prof. Nartey said the investigations had been widened to cover other areas of the hospital especially the monitoring and reconciliation units.

He said in addition, revenue collection would be handed over to Merchant Bank so as to seal any loopholes in revenue collection.

The Public Relations Officer of the hospital, Mr Mustapha Salifu, confirming the report to some local radio stations in the country and said a number of the suspects had started repaying the money they embezzled to the hospital.




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