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30.07.2008 Feature Article


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The Deputy General Secretary of the NDC Baba Jamal has stated that the NDC fully supports the NHIS policy which seeks to provide affordable medical care for all registered members of the Scheme.

Speaking on the NDC's behalf on the morning show on an Accra-based FM station Adom FM, on Tuesday, July 29, 2008, the NDC Deputy Chief Scribe said he has been educating Ghanaians on the merits of the Scheme and has been encouraging members of his constituency especially, to register with the Scheme in order to derive maximum benefit from it. “Every time I get the opportunity to mount a platform in my constituency, be it a funeral, out-dooring or any social gathering, I take the opportunity to educate my constituents to patronize the National Health Insurance Scheme” he said.

Mr. Jamal who is contesting the Akwatia Seat on the ticket of the NDC said when the NDC was in government, they cultivated the idea of implementing the health policy. However due to the challenges inherent in the exercise, they constantly had to postpone it.

Touching on the issue of whether the NHIS is free or not, the NDC General Secretary stated that the Scheme cannot be said to be free as Ghanaians are required to pay a token and also a part of VAT in order to qualify to enjoy the benefits the Scheme provides.

Hon. Osei Ameyaw, NPP MP for Asuogyaman who was also on the panel, congratulated Baba Jamal for being humble enough to admit that the NPP administration had been able to implement a health policy which is far better than the Cash and Carry system operated in the NDC era. He however pointed out to the Deputy General Secretary that the NDC's admittance that the Scheme is a good one is a clear deviation from their earlier stance when their parliamentarians boycotted proceedings in order not to be part of it. Hon. Ameyaw said that action by the NDC parliamentarians was a gross disservice to the people who had elected them to seek their interests in Parliament

Also on the Panel was a member of the Akuffo Addo campaign team, Nii Kwartei Titus Glover. He said that though it was the NDC that introduced the VAT, they never used part of is proceeds to cater for the health needs of Ghanainas. Instead, they implemented a policy (Cash and Carry) which turned our health centers into places for receiving death sentences, instead of saving lives. He debunked the assertion being made by some NDC members that they started the Health Insurance Scheme on a pilot basis explaining that the scheme was started on a pilot basis by a Catholic NGO.

Most text messages and phone–ins to the programme commended Baba Jamal and the NDC for humbly admitting to the merits of the NHIS.

It will be recalled that when the NPP government launched the Educational Reforms in the country, the NDC Deputy General Secretary was one of the first to praise its introduction saying it was far better than the JSS/SSS system that created massive youth unemployment.

Yao Dagadu
Yao Dagadu, © 2008

The author has 9 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: YaoDagadu

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