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10.01.2006 Health

Minority's criticism of health insurance was no condemnation-Abodakpi


Keta (V/R), Jan 10, GNA - Mr Dan Abodakpi, Member of Parliament (MP) for Keta, has explained that the initial criticism of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) by the minority in Parliament was not a wholesale condemnation of the policy.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Keta District Mutual Health Insurance Scheme (KDMHIS) on Monday, he explained that the minority by its criticism was seeking a modification in the policy's design to ensure its success.

"We are happy some of our proposals for modification were fitted into the scheme, which we also test-operated during our regime, under a plan to introduce a similar scheme," he stated. Mr Abodakpi said the NHIS was a good policy, which deserved support, saying, "let us remove other limitations to ensure its success".

The Keta District scheme, which is the seventh to become operational in the Volta Region, has so far registered 7,122 members, with 4,020 fully paid up.

Mr Edward Ahiabor, Keta District Chief Executive (DCE) said the scheme had mobilized 96.1 million cedis from the informal sector. He said DANIDA under its Health Sector support programme, donated 96 million cedis towards the KDMHIS's secretariat. Major Courage Quarshigah, Minister of Health, who inaugurated the scheme and its 15-member Board, said 123 schemes had so far been set up nationwide, with 109 operational.

He said enrolment to date, showed that 15.8 per cent of the Ghanaian population had registered with the schemes. Major Quarshigah in response to a request by the DCE that the defunct Keta Nurses Training School be reopened, said Keta a number of districts were being considered for the establishment of training institutions for health sector for middle level personnel, including nurses.

Nene Sackitey Konor of the Manya Krobo Traditional Area and a member of the Insurance Scheme Council, called for the involvement of traditional rulers in the operations of the scheme, especially with regard to the mobilization of members. Meanwhile, Kodzi, a fishing community in the Keta District was presented with incentive awards, including a wheelbarrow for being the first runner-up in the Volta Region's Clean Community contest in 2005.