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02.06.2005 General News

Doctors demand special package

GNA

Koforidua, June 2, GNA- Doctors at the Koforidua Regional Hospital have called for a special reward package for medical staff under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), since they would be expected to handle more cases and work for longer hours.

The doctors argued that it was not fair for more responsibilities to be placed on them under the NHIS without corresponding incentives to motivate them to meet the challenges.

They claimed that leaving the incentive packages to the various health facilities to decide would bring disparities and would not encourage medical personnel to take up appointments at places with low attendance rate to the detriment of the Scheme. The doctors expressed these sentiments at a sensitisation workshop organised for medical officers at the Regional Hospital, Koforidua on Wednesday.

They called on the Ghana Medical and Dental Council to come out with the minimum and maximum number of patients that a doctor could safely attend to a day to avoid them breaking down from over working because if there would be many patients waiting on a doctor, he would be obliged to continue attending to them even when he or she was tired. They argued that such pressure on doctors could result in mistakes on their part a situation that might further result in unpleasant consequences.

The doctors also called on the Health Insurance Council to be interested in the state of equipment at medical facilities and take urgent steps to upgrade or provide the required ones.

The Eastern Regional Co-ordinator of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Mr George Kumi Kyeremeh told the participants that under the law establishing the NHIS, any health care providers who attempted to cheat regarding the Scheme would be punished.

Ms Evelyn Asiedu-Offei, Eastern Regional Administrator of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), who spoke on the medico-legal aspects of the NHIS, advised medical officers to be careful when handling patients in order to avoid legal action.

She said many patients now knew their rights and would demand good quality health care from providers.

Ms Asiedu-Offei advised the medical officers to ensure that they informed their patients of what was wrong with them and counsel them on how to live healthy lifestyles.

The Medical Director of the Regional Hospital, Dr Obeng Apori called on medical officers to be abreast with developments in the implementation of the NHIS, saying the scheme had come to stay and health personnel should therefore work hard to ensure its success.

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