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05.05.2005 Regional News

Manya Krobo District launches NHIS

By GNA

Agormanya-Krobo (E/R), May 5, GNA - The Manya Krobo District Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) had been launched with a call on the people not to see the launch alone as at a guarantee for good health. The Eastern Regional Director of the Ghana Health Services (GHS), Dr Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyirah who made the call on Thursday at Agormanya, stressed the need for the people to keep their environment and themselves clean so as not to fall ill on the assumption that they would get free medical attention under the scheme.

He said to ensure that the scheme faced up to the challenges ahead, plans were advanced to introduce a "nurses quota allocation" system to all the districts in the region for which the District Assemblies would now select qualified people from their district and sponsor their training for them to return to work there.

Dr Appiah-Denkyirah explained that the proposed quota system would help solve the current problem where nurses who were not from the district refused postings there.

He noted that in spite of the take-off of most district health insurance schemes, the sick in the rural areas would still face transportation problems to the health centres and therefore advised that communities made alternative arrangements with some drivers to make their services available to reduce the difficulties they go through during emergencies.

Dr Appiah-Denkyirah assured the people that as a result of the NHIS the health directorate was doing its best to upgrade the Asesewa Health Centre to a hospital status for people in the area to benefit from the scheme.

In a speech read for him, the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Yaw Barimah, said after the initial uncertainty and the unnecessary politicisation of the scheme, its take-off in some districts had demonstrated that it was a step in the right direction. He charged the various districts not to see the launching of the scheme as the end of every health problem, adding; "You must finish hard and desist from the temptation to relax a little in ensuring the efficient functioning of the scheme".

Mr Barimah called on scheme managers to ensure that payment of allowance and salary structures for the scheme's management and staff were put into shape.

The Board Chairman of the Manya Krobo District Health Insurance Scheme, Mr Stephen Ossom, said the District Assembly was holding discussions with the Atua Government Hospital, the St Martin de Pores Hospital, the Akuse Government Hospital and the Asesewa Health Centre for the implementation of the scheme.

He said so far, an amount of 56.8 million cedis had been collected as premium while registration was still on going, adding that the scheme would take off on June 1.

The Upper Manya Krobo Rural Bank presented five bicycles costing 5 million cedis to the scheme to enable premium collectors do their work effectively.

Presenting the bicycles, the Manager of the Bank, Mr Ishmael Otchere said the donation was part of the Bank's social responsibility to the District and that when the people were healthy the bank would continue to exist.

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