03.04.2005 Regional News

Govt urged to provide interpreters for deaf at hospitals

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Kumasi, April 3, GNA-Mr Peter Donkor, Mr Peter Donkor, Minister in-charge of the Deaf Ministry of the Asafo branch of the Church of Christ in Kumasi, has called on the government to provide interpreters for the deaf at the hospitals that will be designated for implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme.

He said this would enable the deaf communicate effectively with doctors and nurses so that the proper diagnosis and prescriptions would be given them when they attend hospital.

Mr Donkor made the call at a one-day seminar and fellowship on health insurance organised by the ministry for its members in Kumasi on Saturday.

The seminar, which was to enable the members to understand the NHIS and to get them involved in the scheme, was on the theme, "The Church and your Health".

The minister stressed the need for the over 80 participants to register with the scheme, adding that the ministry was prepared to support members who cannot afford payment of the premium.

He urged them to observe personal hygiene and environmental sanitation since most people's ailments emanate from their lifestyles. Mr Isaac Asare, Manager of the Asokwa sub-metropolitan Mutual Health Insurance Scheme who briefed the participants on the scheme, said patients who go to hospital without the scheme's identity card would not receive treatment.

He indicated that people who contribute to Social Security and National Insurance Scheme (SSNIT) would pay their contribution from the scheme while those in the private sector will pay a premium ranging from 72,000 cedis to 480,000 cedis per annum.

Mr Asare stressed that since the NHIS is a new concept, six months is set aside for mobilisation of funds after paying the premium before a contributors can start using the identity card.

He said the scheme would cater for 95 per cent of member's ailments excluding artificial insemination, AIDS, cosmetic, brain and heart operations.

"People under 18 years and those above 70 years will receive treatment free under the scheme", he said.

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