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24.08.2005 Health

Malpractices at Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai DMHIS uncovered

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Busua (W/R), Aug. 24, GNA - A number of registered members of the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai District Mutual Health Insurance Scheme (DMHIS) have been feigning illness only to collect drugs at the hospital for their sick relatives who are not registered with the Scheme. Doctor Paul Kwaw Ntodi, District Director of Health Services announced this at a day's stakeholders meeting on accelerating the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), at Busua on Wednesday.

He said the Scheme became operational on the first of July this year and since then the number of people who attended hospital had tripled.

"Some of these people do so only to test the veracity of their Identity Cards", he said.

Dr Ntodi said there was continual congestion at the Out Patients Department (OPD), Laboratories and the consulting rooms. "At the Female and Children's wards some nursing mothers are placed on the floor, while three babies are placed in a single cot, due to the inadequacy of facilities", he stressed.

Dr Ntodi said the Bibiani Hospital had referred some cases to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi due to the lack of some vital equipment.

He hinted that because the ID cards were identical, some patients from the Eastern Region had accessed health care at the Bibiani Hospital even though the system has not been networked. Mr Kingsley Adei-Manu, District Chief Executive, said out of a total premium of 330 million cedis paid by 9,033 subscribers in the formal and informal sector, 1,183 had accessed 75 million cedis for health care within a month.

He said if the National Health Insurance Council (NHIC) failed to release grants to the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai NHIS, it could collapse within a very short time.

Mr Adei-Manu said the number of dependents of contributors below 18 years of age was 22,821 while those above 70 years were 1,457. He added that the number of registered pensioners was 176 while contributors in the formal sector were only 2,149 and those in the informal sector were 6,884.

Mr Adei-Manu appealed to the NHIC to assist the various NHIS with the necessary logistics, to shift the burden from the district assemblies.

Mr Joseph B. Aidoo, Western regional Minister said Ghanaians should be educated to embrace the scheme as their own.

"The NHIS and diseases surpass partisanship and all efforts must be made to make the Scheme to succeed", he stressed. Mr Aidoo urged Ghanaians to be committed to the Scheme and to report problems associated with its implementation early for prompt solution.

He said although the workload at the hospitals would increase initially, the pressure would slow down gradually and admonished health care providers to adopt a positive attitude towards the Scheme. Mr Aidoo said fraudsters could use all means to disrupt the smooth operation of the NHIS and advised health care providers to be vigilant to check the tendency.

Dr Sylvester Anemana, Regional Director of Health Services said the absence of consultants would not hamper the smooth take-off of the NHIS. He said the reliance on technical support from health partners since the 1990s had been of immense help to the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and such expertise would be put at the disposal of the NHIS in all the districts. 24 Aug. 05