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29.04.2004 Regional News

Asamoah Boateng urges NHIS implementers to work earnestly

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Kete-Krachi (V/R), April 29 GNA - Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Deputy Minister of Information on Tuesday urged stakeholders of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to earnestly work towards its implementation.

He said Cabinet had approved a minimum premium of 6,000 cedis monthly per person but impressed on stakeholders to peg their premium on the reality of their district situation.

Mr Asamoah Boateng was addressing the staff of decentralised departments, assembly-members and Chiefs in the northern part of the Volta region as part of his tour of the region. He said under the Legislative Instrument, the aged above 70 years, children below 18 years, pregnant women and nursing mothers would enjoy free medical care.

The Deputy Minister added that Parliament would however, consider what concession to give to people between age 60 and 70 since the present Legislation was silent on that.

Mr Boateng urged the District Assemblies and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to facilitate the process since the present hostile cash and carry system had afflicted "untold hardship" on the people. He said the NHIS was crucial to affordable health delivery process of the country adding, "you cannot wait for emergency cases before finding money for treatment - the time is now".

On the President's Special Initiatives (PSI), he advised District Assemblies and Chiefs in the region to identify and harness their potentials towards any of the programmes under the PSIs, and at the same time, improve on the socio-economic status and curb unemployment among the youths.

Mr Boateng said government was establishing two other starch factories at Obuasi and Fanteakwa in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions at a total cost of eight million dollars and was also considering setting-up one in the Volta region.

He said in the interim, the country's road network would be improved upon to enable raw materials to be hauled to feed the existing factories.

Mr Boateng said the PSI had already started yielding dividend as their products were being exported to the Americas and Europe. He entreated the people to once again demonstrate maturity by contesting the December elections in a peaceful manner devoid of insults, acrimony and whipping up of unnecessary tension on the national psyche.

"Let us begin to build a new culture of reducing the political tension to its lowest ebb", he said. 29 Apr. 04

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