21.12.2005 Health

Edumadze expresses concern over lack of resources for Health Schemes

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Abura-Dunkwa(C/R), Dec.21, GNA - Mr Isaac Edumadze, Central Regional Minister on Tuesday expressed concern over the delay in activities of the National Health Insurance Council to provide logistics and other resources to the Mutual Health Insurance Schemes (MHIS) to execute their duties efficiently and effectively.

He said even though some of the schemes had been operational about three months ago they were yet to receive the contributions from the formal sector, thereby creating anxiety among the people. Mr Edumadze expressed these sentiments in an address read on his behalf at the launching of the Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese District Mutual Health Insurance Scheme at Abura-Dunkwa.

He announced that so far seven out of the 12 schemes within the region had begun providing medical services to those who registered and fully paid their premiums.

These are Assin, Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira, Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam, Upper Denkyira, Cape Coast and Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese.

The Regional Minister announced that about one-third of the population within the region had so far registered with over one billion cedis collected as premiums from the informal sector, and therefore commended those who had contributed to achieve that feat.

Mr Edumadze said a region whose economic and health indicators were nothing to write home about, the health insurance offered its people the best opportunity to improve on their health care delivery. He therefore, urged the people to embrace the scheme wholeheartedly, adding; "Paying a minimum premium of 72,000 cedis a year was not too much to deny oneself and children good and quality health care."

Mr Edumadze said the Assin scheme paid about 2.7 million cedis to defray the medical bills of an individual who paid only 72,000 cedis as premium.

He wondered "Where could such an individual afford to pay the bill, if he is not a beneficiary of the scheme," and therefore, urged all and sundry to join MHIS for better health.

Mr Edumadze said as in every human institution, the scheme was bound to face some challenges, and that issues bordering on quality care, fraud control and information management, among others, were bound to arise.

He stressed that these issues if not addressed properly could derail the whole process, and therefore, urged the management of the scheme to put effective systems in place to address the challenges, when they cropped up.

Mr Job Acquah Markin, Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese District Chief Executive advised the people to keep their surroundings clean to avert the outbreak of an epidemic, which might derail funds meant for the financing of the scheme. He called on the management of the scheme to intensify their educational campaigns to create more awareness among the people to enable them join it. Nana Osam Kwesi VII, Chief of Abura-Dunkwa, said medical practitioners had a significant role to play in the success of the scheme and therefore, appealed to them to be tolerant and patient when attending to its beneficiaries.