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30.09.2005 General News

Free Delivery Programme runs into difficulties

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Saltpond (CR), Sept 30, GNA - The Free Delivery Programme initiated by the government has run into difficulties in the Central Regions due to lack of funds to sustain it leading health institutions into debts. The Programme was to curb maternal mortality in the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and the Central Regions, considered as the most deprived in the country.

Investigations by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) have revealed that almost all hospitals in the Central Region are now charging for delivery.

The Cape Coast District Hospital for example accumulating over 200 million cedis debt.

Other health institutions facing the same situation are the Apam, Winneba, Agona Swedru, Assin Foso, Breman Asikuma and Dunkwa hospitals. Mr Emmanuel Ofori, Accountant of the Saltpond Government Hospital told the GNA that it had decided to stop the programme as from the beginning of October this year because funds for the service had been exhausted, adding that, if the hospital should continue with the programme, there would be no money for other services. Mr Derrick Owusu-Ambrose, the Pharmacist of the institution appealed to the government for funds to sustain the programme since it had facilitated delivery at the hospital.

He pointed out that since the National Health Insurance Scheme, which was also to take care of free delivery, had not taken off in many Districts, stopping the programme would negate the government's intention.