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16.05.2004 Business & Finance

Banks urged to support the NHIS

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Kumasi, May 16, GNA - A Businessman has appealed to the banks and other financial institutions to consider setting aside a proportion of their profits to be channelled into supporting the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Mr Opoku-Agyemang Prempeh, Managing Director of Lakayana Company, an engineering and construction firm, said such contributions were vital as it will augment funds already lodged in the scheme by the Government, and thereby ensure sustenance of the NHIS.
Mr Prempeh made the appeal when briefing the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi on Saturday on measures that could be adopted to make the NHIS more sustainable and beneficial to more people. He observed that funds from the Government alone might not be able to sustain the scheme unless it is complemented with contributions not just from individuals and the communities but also the financial institutions.
"Just as the banks perceive their contribution towards development of communities in their catchment areas as their social responsibility, so should they also regard contribution towards sustenance of the NHIS as a moral duty," Mr Prempeh said. He reminded the banks that their businesses thrived on the quality of health of the people who do business with them. "It is only when the customers are healthy and fit that they can work to earn more money to do business, and keep the banks going".
Mr Prempeh also held that funds alone would not guarantee sustenance of the scheme unless it is supported by a positive change of attitude by Ghanaians towards environmental cleanliness and personal hygiene. "Irrespective of the amount of funds lodged in support of the NHIS, if Ghanaians fail to adopt measures that will prevent the occurrence of diseases and that could help enhance personal hygiene, it will be difficult sustaining the NHIS".