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11.07.2008 Health

High patronage of the free health care for pregnant women

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A visit to some selected government hospitals in
the Greater Accra Region on Thursday showed tremendous patronage of the free health care services for pregnant women.
The visit was organised by officials of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to assess the patronage of the scheme since it was introduced 10 days ago.
Speaking to the press, Professor Nii Otoo Nartey, Chief Executive Officer of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, said since the free registration of pregnant women started, 186 women had been registered for post-natal care, 386 women for ante-natal care while 208 women had been delivered of their babies.

He said before the free registration of the scheme, the hospital could only deliver about 1,000 babies in a month, adding that, the scheme would put an end to the detention of nursing mothers by the hospital.

Nii Nartey appealed to the government to provide the hospital with more facilities and a bigger operation theatre to prevent the queuing of women in labour requiring caesarean operations.

At Prampram Health Centre in the Dangme West of the Greater Accra Region, Ms Comfort Agbetornyo, the Midwifery Superintendent in-charge, told newsmen that 64 pregnant women had registered since the free introduction of the scheme.

"Hitherto, the hospital could register between 40 and 50 pregnant women within a week. The scheme has actually caused those without money to come out to register," she added.

At the Hospital almost all the pregnant women were not holders of the National Health Insurance card.

According to Ms. Patience Ami Mamattah, Health Service Administrator of the Tema General Hospital, 398 pregnant women had been registered since the introduction of the free registration.

She noted that all the pregnant women who were on at the hospital before the implementation of the scheme had been discharged without paying any bill.

Mr Ras Boateng, Chief Executive Officer of the NHIA, appealed to all pregnant women to take full advantage of the scheme to prevent complications in their pregnancies.

Mr Ibrahim Wiredu, Public Affairs Manager NHIA, urged all pregnant women to pay the premium and register with the scheme since the government would only take care of their post-natal bills for one year.

The women expressed appreciation to the government for the initiative and called for more assistance.

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