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29.11.2005 Health

Bawku Health Insurance scheme takes off

By GNA
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Bawku (UER), Nov. 29, GNA - The Bawku Mutual Health Insurance Scheme has signed an agreement with four health institutions to enable fully paid subscribers to access health care services. The signing of the agreements, which was initialed by Mr. John Abugre, Board Chairman of the Scheme and Dr Oscar Debrah, a Medical Administrator on behalf of the institutions, paved the way for the Scheme to be fully operational on November 29. The health institutions are Bawku Presbyterian Hospital, Garu, Werikambo and Widana Health Centres.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Dr Debrah called on the Government to review its policies towards mission hospitals for their smooth operation to ensure they were provided with grants to facilitate sustainability of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). He said the process in which only public hospitals enjoyed grants were not only discriminatory, but also a threat to the NHIS to provide better healthcare to the citizenry.

Dr Debrah stated that most Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) relied solely on fees charged to expand and maintain their facilities as well as the training of their personnel to enhance efficient delivery to the public. He said for CHAG to reduce their fees in order to sustain NHIS; the Government must discharge its obligations to CHAG to operate as expected.

Mr. Abugre expressed appreciation that the Scheme had finally taken off after a stalemate during the initial negotiations between the two parties over the fees being charged by CHAG. He said the Scheme was the best alternative for the poor to access quality healthcare and therefore, needed support to succeed. Mr. Abdul-Rahman Gumah, Bawku Municipal Chief Executive, noted that the call on the Government to review its policy would be given priority attention.

Mr. Salifu Adinga, Manager of the Scheme, said 15,469 subscribers had registered and fully paid their premiums, whilst about 165 million

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