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Health | Jan 27, 2005

V/R health personnel undergo NHIS re-orientation

GNA

Ho, Jan. 27, GNA - All public sector health institutions and personnel in the Volta Region are undergoing re-orientation in preparation towards the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). The Volta Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Andrew Arde-Acquah announced this at a sensitisation workshop for stakeholders of the NHIS at Ho on Tuesday.

Answering a question on the level of preparedness of health institutions and personnel for the NHIS, he said a number of doctors and medical personnel have been attracted to the Regional Hospital and admissions to the Ho Nurses Training School have also been increased with prospects for further increases and expansion of training facilities.

On the issue of comportment of nurses and medical staff, Dr Arde-Acquah said this was also being tackled with a view to improving on quality of service delivery.

He advised against the tendency to resort to the Regional Hospital at first instance, unless by referral, because uniform methods of treatment for every category of disease would be applied at each level of health delivery system.

Dr Arde-Acquah explained that, the adoption of uniform and cost effective methods of treatment at every level of the health delivery system was to curtail resort to expensive services, which could undermine the financial base of the Schemes.

He said the NHIS was designed to operate on solidarity, mutual risk sharing, contribution prior to the time of need and democratic decision-making.

Dr Arde-Acauah said those who fail to register with any of the District Mutual Health schemes would have to pay hospital fees on their first call at any designated health facility, where they would also be compulsorily registered.

He said there would be problems with the scheme as it progressed but such problems would be tackled as and when they arise.

Participants called for a special dispensation to students who would be more than 18 years and still dependent on their parents even though by the law establishing the NHIS, they would be expected to register as adult members of the Scheme.

While some participants were of the view that their spouses should be excluded from registering as contributors to the Scheme on account of their two-and-half SSNIT contributions, others were of the view that spouses of formal sector workers should register separately because the viability of the scheme depended on the number of contributors to it. As to the types of health problems to be covered by the Scheme, the general opinion was that, that should be left to each Mutual Scheme, taking into consideration their respective financial positions.

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