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06.02.2009 Health

Delay in payment of NHIS claims affect health delivery

By gna

The delay in the payment of claims by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to healthcare providers is affecting health service delivery, Miss Joyce Katiru Bagina, acting Bolgatanga Municipal Health Director, has said.

She said this on Thursday during the 2008 Annual Performance Review Meeting of the Bolgatanga Municipal Health Directorate.

She appealed to the management of the scheme to ensure a constant flow of payments to enable health service providers to discharge their duties effectively.

Mr Bagina appealed to health workers to take their work seriously by attending to patients with care and love.

She said communities were sensitized on the introduction of free maternal services, and the need to take advantage of them.

She said there had been an increase in attendance at the antenatal period from 99.5 per cent in 2007 to 101 .2 per cent in 2008 and at birth from 44.5 per cent in 2007 to 53.9 per cent in 2008.

The dose of Intermittent Preventive Treatment (IPT) of malaria in pregnancy also saw a notable increase from 36 per cent in 2007 to 40.7 per cent in 2008", she added.

On Out-patient attendance has increased from 1.23 in 2007 to 1.63 in 2008 and attributed this to the NHIS that has covered 53 per cent of the population in the Municipality.

Miss Bagina said among the 10 top diseases at the Out Patient Department (OPD) in the Municipality, malaria continued to rank first as in previous years.

This is followed by acute respiratory infections which also ranked second in 2007 and skin infections which took fifth position last year now ranks third

She mentioned inadequate Medical Assistants, General Nurses and means of transportation as some of the problems hindering health service delivery in the region.

“The Municipality is therefore in dire need of motorbikes and pick-ups to enable it to continue to offer services especially at outreach and community based Health Planning Services which we plan to increase by at least two compounds this year", she said.

She said for 2009 the Municipal health directorate had planned to intensify activities on the Expanded Programme for Immunization (EPI) to help improve the coverage which dropped slightly against 2007, and that her outfit would continue to implement strategies to encourage pregnant women to patronize health delivery provided by qualified health personnel to at least 60 per cent.

The Municipal Directorate would also undertake disease surveillance at all levels, improve the quality and access to health services, improve nutritional status of children under five and pregnant women.