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16.12.2005 Health

The poor and the vulnerable urged to subscribe to NHIS

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Takoradi, Dec. 16 GNA - Miss Nancy Dzah, Deputy Western Regional Coordinating Director on Thursday launched a programme for the Centre For The Development of People (CEDEP) to empower the poor and the vulnerable to participate in the National Health Insurance Scheme in the Western Region.

The launch took place at the first regional stakeholders workshop on the project at Takoradi.

The workshop was under the theme, "Inclusion and Participation of the Poor and the Vulnerable in the NHIS".

In an address, Miss Dzah said the poor and the vulnerable, for whose benefit the NHIS was introduced, might not automatically have access to health care under the scheme.

She said many poor people would not be able to subscribe to the scheme because they were marginalized and were not adequately informed about the scheme.

Miss Dzah said the CEDEP has taken the right step in designing the programme to ensure that the poor and the vulnerable were not excluded from the NHIS.

Miss Dzah called on the poor and the vulnerable to subscribe to the NHIS to enable them obtain health care when the need arose. She said the "Cash and Carry" system of financing health care was not the best and brought untold suffering and difficulties to many people, especially those in the lower income bracket.

Mr Charles Sakyi, Deputy Executive Director of CEDEP, said under the project, regional and district health insurance vigilance committees were going to formed to undertake activities that would ensure that the health insurance schemes were run to include the poor and the vulnerable.

He said in addition, the committees would ensure that the poor also have a say in how the schemes were administered. Mr Sakyi said the Juabeso and Bia districts have been selected for the CEDEP project and monitoring of the NHIS.

Mr Joseph Owusu, CEDEP Manager for Programme Development, Monitoring and Evaluation, said the CEDEP project is being implemented at the Ahafo Ano South and Offinso districts in the Ashanti Region, the Wa Municipality and Lawra District of the Upper West Region.

Other implementation areas are the Afram Plains and Birim North in the Eastern Region, Asutifi and Kintampo North in the Brong Ahafo Region and Juabeso and Bia districts in the Western Region, he said.

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