Begoro (E/R), Oct. 21, GNA - The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Yaw Barimah, has called on health facilities and personnel to position themselves adequately to effectively face the challenges and opportunities the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) would bring in the wake of its implementation.
This, he noted, would require vision, dedication, pro-activeness and above all discipline and commitment to duty from all levels of personnel.
Mr. Barimah, who was speaking at the first Open Day of the Begoro District Hospital at Begoro on Thursday, however, commended health professionals who had not joined the bandwagon to seek greener pastures abroad, but working diligently despite any deprivations.
Mr Barimah noted that the brain drain phenomenon was seriously affecting the productive capacity of the country, especially the health sector, and reminded the professionals that they owe a duty to serve the people since they were trained with their taxes.
He said the government was introducing an incentive package for health professionals including the provision of cars on hire purchase and affordable houses at regions of their choice to make their stay and work happy.
The Minister who urged the people to register with the NHIS to access health care, whether rich or poor and no matter their political affiliation, pledged the Regional Co-ordinating Council's commitment of necessary resources to ensure the resounding success of the scheme in the region.
He announced that 15 out of the 17 districts in the region were already implementing the NHIS while the two left were at advanced stages of implementation.
He urged chiefs and queenmothers to support the scheme by educating their people to register with the scheme to benefit from it.
The Eastern Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyirah, in a speech read on his behalf, explained that the institution of the Hospital Open Days was to bring the public and health personnel closer to enable them appreciate the services, infrastructure, equipment, challenges and achievements at their health facilities. Stressing the need for equal attention be given to preventive aspect of health care along side curative, he disclosed that the cholera outbreak in the Greater Accra Region had appeared in the Eastern Region which required serious attention to personal and environmental hygiene by all to avoid contraction.
Dr Appiah-Denkyirah asked the people to immunize their children due for November and December, prevent maternal deaths by encouraging pregnant women to attend ante-natal clinic and avoid lifestyles which could lead to contraction of sexual-transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS.
In a welcoming address, the Medical Superintendent of the hospital, Dr Kofi Ablorh, announced that the NHIS was gaining more acceptance in the district since it began implementation in June, this year, while the hospital was also able to fulfil its part of the bargain to the premium holders.
He, however, noted some emerging problems, which required collective efforts from both sides to solve especially residential accommodation for key medical staff.
Dr Ablorh thanked the staff of the Vamed Engineering Company for assisting the hospital with two new vehicles and appealed to the Fanteakwa District Assembly, the Begoro Youth Association and benevolent bodies to come to the aid of the hospital.
The District Chief Executive, Mr Ebenezer Ofoe Ceasar, announced that the assembly had voted funds for the provision of four semi-detached bungalows to the hospital.
Mr. Barimah inaugurated an 11-member Hospital Advisory Board at the ceremony where an endowment fund was launched for 500-million cedis towards the provision of equipment and maintenance of the hospital.