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18.01.2006 General News

Address environmental issues -Quarshigah


Elmina (C/R), Jan 18, GNA - Major (Rtd) Courage Quarshigah, Minister of Health on Tuesday said that the treatment alone could "wipe out" the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), if issues on environmental sanitation were not addressed.

He said it required about 1.3 trillion cedis to treat malaria annually and that, if measures were not put in place to ensure that the populace live in healthy environment, the fund would not be even sufficient for the treatment of malaria.

Major Quashigah expressed this concerns in an address read for him at the opening session of a two-day forum for service providers and managers of the NHIS at Elimina, to help address challenges and concerns of the scheme to ensure its sustainability.

So far, 111 out of 123 Districts and Mutual Health Insurance scheme in the country are fully operational and managing claims. The Minister in this regard urged Ghanaians to live healthy lives and keep their environment clean to help prevent the outbreak of other preventable diseases.

On challenges facing the scheme, he stressed the need for the forum to among others, determine the preparedness of service providers to provide care to insured clients and to agree on the way forward. He then tasked the participants to ensure that their deliberations were devoid of partisanship and antagonism and aim at improving relationships between all stakeholders and to implement programmes to ensure quality services.

"It is only when such an atmosphere exist that we can collectively move in the same direction", stressing that support for the NHIS should be seen as a national duty, he added. Also at the forum were members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health and some personnel from the Health Ministry.