The Dormaa District Health Insurance Scheme has decided to allow prospective members who are poor to pay their premium in installments.
Mr. Martin Amponsah, the District Manager, told the GNA that the decision was aimed at capturing at least half of the district's total population of 150,000 by the end of the year.
He said the dispensation was also to put an end to complaints by the people over the demand for bulk payment of the annual premium.
"The new step will not only curtail growing incidence of some people seeking assistance from Members of Parliament and the District Chief Executive to settle hospital bills but will also minimize the debts owed to health facilities by such people,” he said.
Mr. Amponsah said the scheme had 55,336 members with a total premium of ¢1.885 billion.
He commended the government for regularly paying the scheme's administrative costs as well as premium for exempt groups.
Mr Amponsah complained about the over utilization of health facilities as all manner of ailments were sent to the hospital.
He deplored the practice by some members to seek medical care in the urban areas instead of at nearest health facilities, "losing sight of the fact that hospitals in the urban set-up are saddled with bigger patient populations to deal with."
"In a few cases too, members deliberately delay the collection of their photo identity cards till they fall sick then they begin to pester our staff, sometimes at mid-night for their cards", Mr. Amponsah said.
He spoke about the cost-sharing purpose of the National Health Insurance Scheme and appealed to well-meaning individuals in the district to offer to pay the premium for the have-nots.