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20.12.2005 Regional News

Three E/R DMHI schemes owe 1 billion cedis

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Nkawkaw, Dec. 20, GNA - Four Mutual Health Insurance Schemes in the Eastern Region owe the Nkawkaw Holy Family Hospital about one billion cedis in medical bills on behalf of registered members of the schemes who had received medical treatment at the Hospital since October this year.

The schemes are the East Akyem, Birim North, Kwahu South and Kwahu West districts.

The Medical Superintendent of the Hospital, Dr Kwesi Amuzu, who announced this at the Hospital's Open Day celebration on Tuesday, lamented that the huge indebtedness to the Hospital was making it difficult for it to ensure effective running. According to him, the Hospital owed its suppliers over 750 million cedis and they were threatening to stop supplying additional medical needs due to the delay in payment.

Dr Amuzu said the 227-bed hospital with five main wards, an emergency unit, an operating theatre, an Out-Patients' Department (OPD) had its attendants increasing from around 5,800 a month to 8,000 after the inception of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) with an average admission of 773 patients a month.

The Medical Superintendent said the hospital had three permanent doctors, two Medical Assistants with 76 nurses instead of the required 9 doctors and 150 nurses to ensure effective health delivery. He said due to inadequate staff facing the hospital, 125 million cedis had been spent to engage doctors and other health professionals on short-term basis this year to enhance service delivery while 450 million cedis had also been spent to provide extra computers, diagnostic equipment and higher capacity server to accommodate the increased work load at the hospital.

Dr Amuzu said the hospital would no longer receive support from donors abroad but to be ran from its internally generated funds and appealed to the District Assembly, NGOs, Kwahu citizens and philanthropists to contribute towards the running of the hospital. In his keynote address, Rev. Fr. Vincent Kwame Owusu, advised Ghanaians to take balanced diet, undertake regular exercise and also take the right dosage of drugs given to them by the health officials to improve upon their health.

He urged all Ghanaians to embrace the NHIS concept and register at the various district mutual health insurance schemes since it was the only means of ensuring affordable and effective health delivery. The Chairman of the Okwahuman Health Insurance Scheme, Nana Adarkwa Boadi Yiadom, II, said he had received funds from the National Health Insurance Council to settle all their accumulated bills. 35 workers who had served the hospital between ten and 35 years, received items like television sets, gas cookers, table-top fridges and certificates as their wards.