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08.08.2005 Regional News

People complaint about high cost of photographs


Sekondi, Aug 08, GNA - Some residents of Sekondi-Takoradi have called on the National Health Insurance Council (NHIC) to clarify its position on the ongoing photo taking exercise because the fee charged is too high.

They said most of the centres charged 10,000 cedis for digital photographs that would be used in processing their identification cards. Speaking to the GNA in separate interviews on Friday, Alhaji Mustapha Ashale, a parent with seven children, said the current cost of the photographs was a disincentive to people with many children. He said apart from the cost of the pictures, the two days used for taking the photographs were too short and did not allow a lot of people to patronise it.

Alhaji Ashale said though he believes that health insurance was the best option in health care delivery, the current cost of photographs was almost the same as the annual premium of 72,000 cedis for the poor.

Mr John Dazie, a driver, said the collection of 10,000 cedis for photographs by the NHIS was too high and called on the board to reduce the amount to enable more people to patronise the exercise. Mrs Josephine Eshun, Public Relations officer of the Takoradi Sub-metropolitan Health Insurance Scheme, said the 10,000 cedis for the photo taking exercise was the decision of the board of trustees of the various NHIS.

She said personnel of the NHIS are encountering problems during the photo taking exercise due to the cost.

Mrs Eshun said negotiations are ongoing with employers to absorb the amount for their workers and appealed to workers and the general public to sacrifice for the smooth implementation of the scheme. Madam Aba Walters, PRO for Sekondi Sub-Metro, said the politicisation of the NHIS was disrupting their registration and photo-taking exercise. She said arguments, threats by the youth and the destruction of NHIS banners at Assemansidu a suburb of Sekondi was also hampering their efforts.

Ms Walters said some people have complained that the fee of 10,000 cedis for the pictures was too high especially for parents with many children.

She explained that the photo taking was awarded on contract because the NHIS did not have the cameras for the exercise.