17.04.2005 General News

Minister urges Ghanaians to embrace NHIS

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Sunyani, April 17, GNA - Major Courage Quashigah (Rtd), Minister of Health has urged Ghanaians to embrace the national/mutual health insurance scheme for their well-being and accelerated national development.

He expressed regret that in spite of the intensive education on the scheme, "many Ghanaians have remained apathetic or unwilling to part with 72,000 cedis for a whole year to pay for their own good health." The Minister was addressing the opening of a two-day workshop on the implementation of the scheme in Sunyani.

Officials of Regional Co-ordinating Councils, District Chief Executives, Regional Directors of Health Services, Regional Co-ordinators of the National Health Insurance programme in the Northern sector of the country, for example Brong Ahafo, Ashanti, Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions are attending.

Major Quashigah noted that some people complain about the "high" fee "but are eager to pay 350,000 cedis for a piece of funeral cloth." He explained that the scheme was a key priority of the government and a social policy initiated with the view to addressing healthcare access, especially of the poor.

"It is part of the government's strategy to reduce poverty and increase productivity," the Minister said, adding that stakeholders in health must therefore realise that their input was part of the war against poverty.

Major Quashigah warned against the misapplication of funds provided by government as seed money for the implementation of the scheme to all the 110 districts and called on District, Municipal and Metropolitan Chief Executives to ensure that such funds were used efficiently for the intended purposes.

He called on all stakeholders, especially healthcare providers to collaborate effectively for the successful implementation of the scheme. Nana Kwadwo Seinti, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister in a welcoming address expressed the hope that the managers and focal persons in the implementation of the national health insurance scheme would work hard enough towards the attainment of set goals.

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