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10.06.2004 Regional News

Assembly builds office block to facilitate NHIS

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Tatale (N/R), June 10, GNA - The Zabzugu/Tatale District Assembly is constructing a 200 million-cedi block of offices to house the staff of the District Mutual Health Insurance Scheme to facilitate its smooth take-off in the district.

Alhaji Yakubu Bukari, District Chief Executive, announced this at the handing over of the Tatale Health Centre to the Roman Catholic Diocese at Tatale on Wednesday.

The Health Centre, built in 1975, started operation with one Senior Staff Nurse and four volunteers from the community. It now has seven medical and five para-medical staff, as well as some of the necessary equipment to run the facility.

Dr Elias Sory, Northern Regional Director of Health Services, handed over the keys to the centre to the Right Reverend Vincent Sowah Boi-Nai, Catholic Bishop of Yendi.

He said the hand-over did not mean that the Ghana Health Service (GHS) had given up in the management of the facility but gave the assurance that the GHS would continue to be in partnership with the Church in running the Centre.

He said the government alone could not continue to run the health care system in the country and welcomed the intervention of partners such as the Catholic Church in providing for the medical needs of the people.

Dr Sory described the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) as a better option to the Cash and Carry System to cater for the urgent medical bills of patients, especially the poor, who often could not pay the instant cash requested by hospitals before they received treatment. He decried the politicisation of the NHIS saying, the people should disabuse their minds that it was being implemented for taxation purposes, but register with the scheme and pay their premiums to benefit from it.

Rt. Rev. Boi-Nai said the Mission of the Church was not only to preach the word of God but also to cater for the physical needs of the people.

He said the Church would continue to support the government in providing for the health needs of the people to enable them to contribute to the development of the country.

Obore Gariba Yankusor, Paramount Chief of the Tatale Traditional Area, assured the Church of the support and cooperation of the people in its efforts to provide quality health care delivery to the community. He appealed to the Church to provide an ambulance for the Health Centre to ease the problem of transportation, especially in times of emergency.