26.04.2005 Health

NHIS to be operational by June - Ameyaw-Akumfi

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Nkoranza (B/A), April 26, GNA - Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, Minister of Railways, Ports and Harbours has given assurance that all necessary structures have been put in place for the effective implementation of National Health Insurance Scheme in June. Addressing a people's assembly at Nkoranza, he expressed concern about the initial attitude of the opposition parties to the scheme, which he said contribute to the delay in the implementation.
The Minister commended the people of Nkoranza for being pace setters of the Insurance Scheme and appealed to them to exercise restraint as the Scheme was meant to alleviate their health problems.
Professor Ameyaw-Akumfi condemned the "Wahala" demonstrations by the opposition against the increase in fuel prices and explained that the government could not do anything about it as the world price of the product had increased.
He called on Ghanaians to exercise maximum restraint and allow the government to have the peace to address problems facing the country. Other speakers at the forum were the Deputy Minister of Lands and Forestry, Mr. Andrew Adjei-Yeboah, Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Ignatius Baafour-Awuah, Mr Isaac Osei-Antwi, Techiman Municipal Chief Executive and Acting Chief Executive for Nkoranza and Mr Kwabena Agyemang-Badu, Nkoranza District Director of Education.
Mr Adjei-Yeboah, in reply to a questioner who asked about the activities of timber contractors and indiscriminate tree felling, urged timber contractors with concessions to negotiate with the people before they start operations to avoid confrontations and embarrassment.
The Deputy Minister advised the youth against attacking timber contractors indiscriminately since some of them were operating legally. Mr Baafour-Awuah urged Assembly Members, traditional rulers and unit committees to monitor the activities of contractors to check shoddy work.
He called on beneficiaries of credit facilities from the government to work to improve their economic activities so they could pay back such monies on schedule to enable others to benefit.
Mr Agyemang-Badu commended the government for making basic school education in Nkoranza District fee-free and announced that the government had provided school uniforms, school bags and writing materials for distribution to needy children in the District. He added that 1,500 of such children had benefited from the package.
Mr Osei-Antwi expressed gratitude to the people for attending the forum to air their grievances about the governance of the state, saying such attitude of the people promoted true democracy.
About 65,000 people have registered with the Nkoranza District Health Insurance Scheme, according to a report by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Scheme, Mr Evans Kwame Osei.
The people's concerns included the delay in the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme, the uncontrolled increase in the prices of building materials and the lack of market for cassava cultivated under the President's Special Initiative ( PSI) project.

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