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14.04.2008 General News

Avoid conflict of interest, Dwuma-Odoom tells doctors

By Accra Mail
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Mr. Abraham Dwuma-Odoom, a Deputy Minister of Health, on Friday advised medical doctors working in public hospitals not to refer National Health Insurance clients to their private clinics for examination when diagnostic facilities exist where they are working.

Speaking at a NHIS stakeholders meeting at Takoradi, he said some doctors are in the habit of referring patients to their diagnostic clinics for examination and charge them on the account of NHIS even when facilities for examination existed in the public hospitals they are working.

Mr. Dwuma-Odoom said, “This is a practice of conflict of interest and inside trading and those who do that should put a stop to it or attract the necessary drastic sanctions”.

He said some of the Mutual Health Insurance Schemes have huge outstanding treatment bills to be paid to health providers in the region.

Mr. Dwuma-Odoom directed that funds be released for the payment of the bills.

He also urged the Regional Manager of the National Health Insurance Authority and Scheme Managers to ensure speedy payment of outstanding bills to health providers.

Mr. Dwuma-Odoom hoped the introduction of new tariff and revised medicines list would bring about improvement in the provision of health care to the people and bring about sanity and efficiency into the management of claims.

He urged Scheme Managers and Health Providers to administer claims properly so that the tariffs and medicines list could be improved.

Mr. Emmanuel Reinfred Okyere, Regional Manager of the National Health Insurance Authority, said monitoring officers of the authority would visit the Mutual Health Insurance Schemes monthly to interact with them and also enforce compliance of all relevant laws and regulations.

He said the NHIS achieved 40 per cent in the Western Region as at December 2007.

Mr. Okyere said NHIS card bearers account for between 85 to 90 per cent of out-patient attendance at health facilities in the region.

He said most schemes submit their reports late and this affect the release of funds and other logistics to them.

Mr Okyere said the Chief Executive Officer of the authority has, therefore, directed all reports from the schemes must be endorsed by Board Chairpersons as a way of monitoring them.

He said this directive should be strictly enforced by all Board Chairpersons.

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