Review NHIS law on Indigent - Parliament Urged
Parliament has been urged to review the definition of people classified as "Indigent" under the law establishing the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
This would enable the vulnerable in the society especially those in rural areas, who could not afford the minimum 72,000 cedis premium, to register with the scheme to enjoy quality healthcare.
Mr. Anthony Obeng, Administrative Officer of the Winneba Government Hospital, made the call during an interaction with the Television Crew of Premium Promotions, an International Media Organisation at the Hospital on Friday.
He noted that at the moment the definition of an indigent under the Law covered children below 18 years old and old people above 70 years leaving, "A lot of the population confronted with abject poverty".
The Hospital Administrator stated that the situation had prevented, "The core poor in the country's cities, towns and rural communities" from registering with the Health Insurance Scheme.
He praised the management of the Awutu-Effutu-Senya District Mutual Health Insurance Scheme for their excellent performance over the past 15 months and advised the workers to put in their best to achieve targets.
Mr. Obeng commended the management of the scheme for honouring all of its commitments to the Winneba Government Hospital on behalf of its clients since it started business with the facility.
Dr. H. France, Medical Superintendent, told the Crew that the benefits of the Health Insurance Scheme far outweighed the cash and carry system and called on people not to politicise the scheme and to register with the NHIS.
Dr. France who took the crew round the Hospital appealed to the Government for modern and adequate equipment and machines for the operating theatre to facilitate work.
He said even though the government was doing its best to improve conditions at the facility, more had to be done to bring it up to standard.
Dr. France noted that attendance at the Hospital had increased following the introduction of the NHIS and said there was the possibility of a rise in the trend in the coming years.
He expressed the preparedness of the staff of the Hospital to cooperate with the management of the AESDMHIS to ensure that the scheme achieved its objectives.
Mr. Joseph Owusu-Kwarteng, AESDMHIS Public Relations Officer, appealed to the Government to expand the drug list under the NHIS to ensure the smooth and effective operation of the District Schemes.
He stated that this would curtail complaints by some clients over the huge bills they had to pay for drugs prescribed by Medical Officers at the Hospital, adding that, it was one of the factors militating against the successful operation of the Insurance Scheme.
Mr. Frank Oppong-Bawuah, Senior Pharmacist of the Hospital acknowledged that even though there had been some misunderstandings between service providers and clients of the NHIS over bills for drugs not covered by scheme, nothing could be done about it now until the drug list was expanded.
Some Senior Nursing Officers at the Maternity Ward described the NHIS as the best health delivery policy ever introduced in the country and said the system had made their work easier.