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14.11.2004 Education

We need more education on NHIS - doctors to gov't

By GNA

Elmina, Nov. 14, GNA - The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) on Sunday, expressed "dissatisfaction with the inadequate" training and education of health care providers about the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and urged the government to address the situation, to help ensure its successful implementation.

It also called on the government "to exhibit sincerity, courage and political will" in taking decisive and urgent steps to grant legitimate and optimum demands of doctors to stem the tide of their exodus from the country, as the situation was still "still alarming".

These concerns were raised in a 13-point communiqu=E9 issued by the GMA, and presented by its president, Professor Yaw Adu-Gyamfi at the end of its weeklong 46th Annual General Meeting, at Elmina.

The AGM was held jointly with the 20th Triennial Consultation/Conference of the Commonwealth Medical Association, under the theme " Achieving Millennium Goals: Maternal Mortality, Child Survival, HIV/AIDS and Gender".

It said as an immediate measure, the Additional Duty Hour Allowance (ADHA) should be mechanised in full, at a rate, which reflects the real number of hours done by doctors, and also called on the government to take health professionals off the Ghana Universal Salary Structure (GUSS).

The GMA said it was also "apprehensive" of the over-centralisation of post-graduate programmes of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons at the Korle-Bu and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospitals, and urged the College to decentralise its programmes to enable trainees undergo a greater part of their training at accredited health institutions.

It expressed disappointment in the delay in passing the Legislative Instrument backing the Ghana Health Service and Teaching Hospitals Board, Act 525 of 1996, and appealed to the President to as a matter of urgency, ensure its passage to make them fully operational.

It also called for the passage of the Domestic Violence Bill into law, and also reiterated its concern over the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and its adverse effects on the country's development, as well as the lack of regulations governing herbal and other alternative medical practices.

It is in this regard, GMA echoed the calls on the general public to facilitate a reduction in HIV/AIDS by adopting positive "sexual practices", and on the government, to scale-up the '3 by 5'initiative for treating AIDS patients.

It further, entreated the government to provide a regulatory framework for herbal and alternate medical practitioners, and on the forthcoming elections, also echoed calls on all Ghanaians to exercise patience and tolerance.

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