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29.07.2004 Health

Health minister echoes importance of NHIS

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Assin Foso, (C/R) July 29, GNA - The Minister for Health, Dr Kwaku Afriyie has said that the introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) will enable workers to benefit from the insurance aspect of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) scheme. Speaking after the launching of the Assin District Mutual Health Insurance Scheme at Assin Foso, Dr Afriyie said it was "most surprising" that SSNIT had only concentrated on the payment of social security and neglected the insurance scheme, both of which should be given attention.

He said the purpose of the 2.5% deduction from the SSNIT fund was intended to serve as seed money for the National Health Insurance Scheme, explaining that, the decision was based on a careful and informed analysis of the factors affecting the viability and sustainability of the schemes and would not adversely affect workers.

The Minister said, to ensure the proper take-off of the scheme, a training programme was being developed to enhance the skills of those who would be employed.

He said hopefully, its benefits "would be seen by November 2004". Dr Afriyie said, when the people start reaping the benefits of the scheme, they would credit NPP government for "burying" the cash and carry system, which he said, did not favour the poor.

Mr Karikari Apau, Assin District Chief Executive, asked the staff of the district health insurance scheme to be dedicated, committed and transparent in their transactions, pay claims promptly and to treat their clients with care.

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