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03.07.2004 Health

National Health Insurance best for the country - DCE

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Tolon (N/R) Jul 03, GNA - Mr Alhassan Baako, Tolon/Kumbungu District Chief Executive, has said the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is the best option to finance health delivery considering the poverty level in some parts of the country.

He noted that about 60 per cent of the population lived below the poverty line and could not have access to healthcare. "This category of people finds it difficult to access health service. They wait until at the point of death before they attend hospitals, often resulting in death," he said.

Mr Baako was speaking at a day's workshop on the District Mutual Health Insurance Scheme organised for Assembly Members, Chiefs and Heads of Departments to ensure the smooth implementation of the scheme in the district

The DCE said successive governments had come to grapple with the problem of financing the health sector and consequently adopted several types of health financing strategies, which had all failed because they were not accessible and sustainable.

He said unlike the "Cash and Carry" system that created inequities and barriers to accessing health services, illegal charges and preferential treatment in some health institutions, the NHIS would provide equitable quality healthcare for all Ghanaians irrespective of their socio-economic status.

He said, "The government's vision of instituting the NHIS is therefore to assure Ghanaians of equitable universal access to affordable and acceptable healthcare service without out-of pocket payment being required at the point of service".

Mr Baako said the assembly had formed an implementation committee to facilitate the establishment of the scheme in the district and urged the chiefs to cooperate with the members to ensure the smooth take-off of the scheme. 03 Jul 04