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27.02.2006 Health

West Akyem embarks on mass Health Insurance Registration

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Asamankese, Feb. 27, GNA - The West Akyem Mutual Health Insurance Scheme has embarked on mass registration exercise to raise coverage of the scheme to more people in the district.

The staff of the scheme's Secretariat armed with a camera, register and take photographs of those who pay the full premium instantly. The Public Relations Officer of the Scheme, Mr Stephen Odame, explained that the Secretariat decided to go to the people instead of relying only on premium collectors to register interested persons in the light of complaints that the premium collectors who registered them were not easily available.

He said reports to the Secretariat said many of them have also abandoned the work complaining of lack of financial motivation. Mr Odame said so far about 20,000 people have been registered in the district, out of which the first batch of 8,868 clients started accessing the facility on January 1, this year, while the second batch of 10,072 persons also started enjoying the facility with effect from February 20.

The PRO said the scheme had so far collected 305 million cedis from those aged between 18 and 69 each of whom paid the premium of 72,000 cedis.

He said the government had allocated the scheme with 129 million cedis to cater for those exempted from premium payment, such as those under 18 and the aged above 70 years.

Mr Odame announced that the government had also released 300 million cedis to the scheme for the benefit of Social Security and National Insurance Scheme contributors who have registered with the scheme.

He hoped the people in the district would register massively and take advantage of the "God-sent" scheme meant to alleviate the plight of the sick, "burdened with the cash-and-carry system". The PRO deplored the behaviour of some service providers which was discouraging people from registering, explaining that the lukewarm attitude shown by some health personnel to health insurance beneficiaries did not make the scheme attractive to many potential members of the scheme.

He noted that the success of the scheme rested mainly on the willingness of the providers to whole-heartedly embrace it and refrain from asking beneficiaries to pay additional bills or giving them prescriptions to buy from drug stores.

Mr. Odame appealed to the government to "fast-track" release of logistics such as vehicles and computers to enable the scheme to realize its full potential. Feb. 27, 06

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