The new Minister for Tourism and Diasporan Relations, Hon. Oboshie Sai Cofie over the weekend advised residents of La in Accra to remove any doubt in their minds concerning the National Health Insurance Scheme and become part of the programme.
'The scheme has registered an estimated 50% of Ghanaians nationwide, and registered members are reaping the benefits under the programme,' she stated.
Hon. Sai Cofie was launching a medical outreach programme organised by Complete Renewed Equipped Women (CREW), the women's wing of the Living Streams International Church at La in Accra.
The annual medical outreach programme formed part of a week-long CREW Women's Destiny Convention aimed at providing free medical services to the church's nearby community and was under the theme: 'Sit Healthy, Walk Healthy and Run Healthy'.
Mrs. Sai Cofie said current upgrading of the scheme will address concerns often raised by people, and revealed that a uniformed identification card system will be introduced soon to enable NHIS members access medical services in all designated health facilities nationwide.
Another concern addressed by the Minister was complaints that drugs dispensed under the scheme were not familiar to patients. She explained that drugs most often dispensed to patients by medical staffs are the same, but may come under different brand names.
Touching on the medical outreach programme, Hon. Sai Cofie commended the church and CREW for reaching out to the community with medical services, adding that 'a healthy life is the most important thing anyone can ask from God'.
The La Mantse, Nii Kpobi Tsuru, who was a guest at the function commended the church for the medical outreach programme in the town and appealed to the people to be health conscious and maintain clean environment as part of a healthy lifestyle.
He also appealed to government to as a matter of urgency, rehabilitate the water reservoir that serves the township to alleviate the current water shortage in the area and ensure good drinking water for the people.
The La Mantse bemoaned the numerous land cases between the Ga Traditional Council and government and further appealed to Hon. Sai Cofie to help address those issues. This, he believes, will pave way for government to revert some of the lands belonging to the council.
Touching on the indiscriminate residential developments taking place behind the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre in Accra, Nii Kpobi Tsuru condemned the act and warned developers that lands in the area belong to the people of La and as head, he will ensure it is protected.
Responding to the water problems in La and its environs, Mrs. Sai Cofie assured the people of government's commitment to provide good drinking water for all and pledged to take the issue up to the authorities concerned.
On the issue of Ga lands, the minister reminded the people that the issues are dear to her, however history behind the problem dates back to colonial times when some leaders of Ga people ceded the lands to the colonial government.
In some of these cases, she said, some leaders were even compensated. It is now the duty of the present generation to renegotiate for lands which compensations have not been paid for and those which needs to be reverted to their rightful owners.
She further explained that the lands 'have not been stolen by government' as it is being speculated by some people.
Dr. Mrs. Davina Markwei, President of CREW said the church believes in the full gospel of Jesus Christ which ensures the total well being of people.
The aim of the programme, according to Dr. Markwei, was to reach out to people in the neighbourhood who cannot afford basic medical care, and disclosed that drugs worth $250,000.00 donated by sponsors will be dispensed to patients free of charge.