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13.01.2005 Regional News

Youth in Ahanta West District apathetic to NHIS

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Agona Nkwanta (W/R), Jan. 13, GNA - Many workers in the formal sector in the Ahanta West District of the Western Region, have not registered with the District Health Insurance Scheme, the Ahantaman Mutual Health Insurance Scheme (AMHIS).

Mr. Clifford M. K. Sebuabeh, Publicity and Marketing Manager of the AMHIS disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Agona Nkwanta on Thursday.

He said although workers in the formal sector were paying their contributions to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) through their two and half percent contributions to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) deducted at source, they must register with the AMHIS to enable them to access health care under the new Scheme.

"Members of the AMHIS who pay their premiums in full will have to wait for three months before they will be able to access health funds in the district" he added.

Mr. Sebuabeh said to facilitate the inclusion of workers in the formal sector in the AMHIS, letters had been sent to the various organisations within the District to forward particulars of their staff for registration for the Scheme.

He said as at December 6, last year, 4,340 people had registered but said a lot of education was needed to encourage more people to patronise the scheme.

Mr. Sebuabeh said while some youth within the district were apathetic to the scheme and accuse personnel of attempting to collect more than the correct, the elderly were patronising the scheme.

He said premiums for the AMHIS range between 72,000 cedis and 480,000 cedis a year, while the aged, indigenes, pensioners of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), and Core poor were exempted from payments.

Mr Richard W. Ayiredine, Scheme Manager said the Community Health Insurance Committees would soon be inaugurated while Health Insurance Assembly would also be established soon.

He said the Health Insurance Assembly, would be the highest decision making body on health insurance in the district and would draw a constitution to provide general guidelines for the operation of the scheme in the district.

Mr. Ayiredine said so far, 30 premium collectors had been recruited and trained to collect contributions and register new members within the District while the coding of houses had also been completed. 13 Jan. 05

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