Accra, June 7,GNA- Parliament on Tuesday unanimously approved the establishment of a 1.3 trillion cedis fund to primarily subsidize the cost of provision of health care service to the various District Mutual Health Insurance Schemes which are licensed.
The sources of the fund include the National Health Insurance Levy, two and one half per cent of each person's 17.5 per cent contribution to SSNIT pension fund and such money that may be allocated by Parliament, grants, donations, gifts, voluntary contributions and investments accruing from the fund.
The subsidies would by law cover very poor people, those under 18 years with community approved single parents, pensioner under the SSNIT scheme and those who are 70 years and above.
According to a report of the Committee on the whole, signed by Alhaji Malik Al-hassan Yakubu, Chairman and Second Deputy Speaker, the fund had so far accrued 700 billion cedis, which is been kept at the Bank of Ghana.
The Committee, which is open to all Members of Parliament, recommended that available funds should be used to start all the schemes before the end of 2005 instead of tying such amounts to investments and contingency.
On the definition of the aged, the committee said considering the lifespan of 57 years for Ghanaians generally, the age limit should be reduced to 60.
Officials from the National Health Insurance Council noted that the age limit is what is prescribed in the enabling legislative instrument which was approved by Parliament." However, those who are below 70 years have been catered for in some other exempted groups." According to the report,' the committee noted the linkage between poverty, ill health and low productivity. It is the view of the Committee that a sick population is a liability to society and brings about negative growth."