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01.04.2007 General News

Technology boost for NHIS

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Cabinet has approved an international competitive tendering process to facilitate the introduction of a Uniform Technology Platform, to enhance the operations of the District Mutual Health Insurance schemes.

The platform will facilitate the swift registration of members of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the issuance of identity cards.

Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama made this known in Tamale, when he inaugurated a new office block for the Metropolitan Mutual Health Insurance Scheme.

He said the platform would also facilitate electronic submission and processing of claims and capture the national disease incidence data.

"The uniform technology platform will not only modernise and streamline the NHIS, but will also provide vital data for the operation of the Ghana Health Service," he said.

Vice President Mahama said the National Health Insurance Council (NHIC) was also responding positively to increasing demands to register and accredit private facilities to provide service to the schemes.

Last year the Council gave provisional and temporary accreditation to 110 private hospitals and clinics, 114 maternity homes, 123 pharmacies, 151 chemical shops, 19 laboratories and four dental clinics.

The Executive Secretary of the NHIC, Mr Ras Boateng, said a survey by the International Labour Organisation had shown that 89 per cent of members of the NHIS had access to public health facilities. 66 per cent have access to chemist or pharmacy shops and 32 per cent have contact to private health centres.

The survey also revealed that medical doctors and nurses are rude to patients who complain that they do not get adequate and quality drugs to NHIS card bearing members.

The Chairman of the Metropolitan Mutual Health Insurance Scheme, Mr Thomas Sayibu Imoro, said since April 2005, 215,182 persons representing 67.5 per cent had been registered.

Funds mobilised since 2005 through fees and premiums paid totaled ¢1.185 billion.

Mr Imoro said the NHIC had provided ¢7.035 billion as claims support and ¢286 million for administration.

The Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Mohammed Amin Adam, said the local mutual health office was constructed at the cost of ¢700 million through the District Assembly Common Fund.

He said this year the Assembly would construct 50 standard public toilets and school sanitation facilities through the support of the World Bank and the Urban Environmental Sanitation project to help reverse the health problems associated with public health.

Source: GNA

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