Dr. Emmanuel Mensah, a former Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has told Traditional Health Practitioners (THPs) that they could not be included as service providers for National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card holders because of their low standards.
He explained that despite its contribution to health delivery, standards of traditional practitioners remained below the internationally acceptable healthcare delivery standards specified by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr. Mensah was reacting to demands by a group of traditional healthcare practitioners, attending a capacity building workshop at Agbozume that they (the practitioners) should also be allowed to operate under the NHIS.
Topics treated at the workshop, which was organized by the Traditional Medicine Practice Council included standardization and testing of drugs.
Dr. Mensah, a Resource Person observed that traditional medicine practitioners must tackle problems of unhygienic surroundings of their clinics, scruffy looks of some native doctors and lack of set standards for the practice to gain recognition.
He said there were no training schedules for the native practitioners, opening up their ranks to charlatans.
Dr Mensah said practitioners often made unsubstantiated claims on efficacy of their medicines, putting users of such medicines to high risks.
He advised the practitioners to join associations and be licensed by the Ministry to make easy exposing quacks, and also facilitate testing and certification of their drugs by the regulatory agencies.
Dr Mensah noted that traditional practitioners in China, India, Sri Lanka and Canada were allowed into the Health Insurance Scheme in their respective countries because of the high standards they attained which also made their products exportable.