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28.04.2004 Health

Bolga Assembly Launch Health Insurance.

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Bolgatanga, April 28, GNA - The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr. Mahami Salifu, on Wednesday said the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), is a government policy aimed at creating an enabling environment for the citizenry to have access to good quality and affordable healthcare services.

" The scheme is a social protective mechanism instituted for the rich and poor in our society to give quality healthcare delivery". The Minister said this at a well-attended durbar of Chiefs and people to launch the Bolgatanga Municipal Health Insurance Scheme. He said the scheme is also intended to eliminate the embarrassing and helpless situation created by the "Cash and Carry" system, where patients had to resort to loans from lenders with high interests to go to hospital for medical services.

He said the launch of the scheme is an indication of the preparedness by government and the citizenry to have access to efficient, equitable and affordable health care delivery, adding that it guarantees free medical care at all health facilities for contributors to the scheme.

Mr. Salifu explained some of the modalities involved in running the scheme and said subscribers are expected to contribute a premium monthly which would be used to purchase medical equipment for the health facilities and the training of more health personnel.

He indicated that the scheme would serve as a measure to bridge the gap between the rural and urban areas in terms of health care delivery and urged opinion leaders, Chiefs and Assembly members in the region to support in the sensitization drive of the assemblies on the need to join the scheme.

The government spokesman on Social Services, Mr. Kofi Amponsah Bediako, in an address said government has done everything within its capacity to provide a healthy ground for quality health delivery through the provision of the needed logistics in the form of vehicle supply and good working conditions for health officials.

He said the launch is an indication of the people's willingness to ensure that the scheme is successfully implemented, and called on providers of the service to render quality services to enable contributors to the scheme get value for the monies paid.

Mr. Rockson Ayine Bukari, Municipal Chief Executive, in a welcoming address said the assembly has set up a Health Insurance Taskforce whose duty is among other things to go round the communities to sensitize the people on the benefits of the scheme and the need for them to join it.

The Municipal Director of Health Services, Dr. Alexis Nang-Beifubah, said the scheme will take off fully in June and that the assembly in conjunction with his outfit is doing extensive preparatory works towards the take off.