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11.03.2006 Health

DCE holds workshop on health insurance scheme

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Zabzugu, March 11, GNA - The Zabzugu/Tatale District Assembly members have been called upon to get involved in the education and mobilization of their communities to resister and pay their premium in order to benefit from the National Health Insurance Scheme operating in the district.

The Zabzugu/Tatale District Chief Executive, Alhaji Yakubu Bukari made the call when he addressed one-day sensitisation workshop on insurance scheme organized by the National Health Insurance Scheme and the District Assembly for the assembly members of the district at Zabzugu.

Alhaji Yakubu said despite the fact that the scheme has taken off in the area, it is recording low patronage and this could be attributed to people's attitude, politicising of the scheme and possibly the financial implications to some families.

He said out of a population of 87,476 only 3,923 have registered with the scheme in the district. Alhaji Yakubu said this included formal sector, paid up adults, children under 18 years, 70 years and above and the core poor. According to Alhaji Yakubu the District Assembly and the scheme are ready to offer support to the assembly members for education and sensitisation on the scheme.

He said the assembly has always released vehicles for the campaign teams whenever they request one for their out reach and educational programmes to the various communities. He announced that the assembly has released 25 million out of the common fund to the scheme for their operation.

He said it is important for the people to note that sickness does not know NPP, NDC, PNC or CPP as such they should not link the scheme to politics. In his welcoming address the Zabzugu/Tatale District Co-ordinating Director Mr Sarfo-Agyapong Kantanka urged the assembly members to help educate the various communities about the importance of the scheme since they are the people's representatives at the local level.

Mr. Kantanka said it is an undeniable fact that health is one of the vital ingredients of life that makes the human beings what they area.

He said unfortunately in our recent past access to this important ingredient of life had become so expensive and indeed out of reach of the poor who are more vulnerable in society. He said it is as a result of this financial trauma that most Ghanaians device alternative ways of taking care of their health needs, which gave birth to the National Health Insurance Scheme.

The Zabzugu/Tatale District Manager of the scheme Mr Abukari Abdulai said the 2006 strategic plan for the scheme would include organizing of durbars in each of the area and town councils in the district to sensitise people on the importance of joining the scheme. Mr Abukari said the scheme has engaged more than 40 people to resister those within their communities to join the scheme.

According the Scheme Manager, the Scheme cannot survive if assembly members, chiefs and opinion leaders don't assist the people to join the scheme. He reminded the people in the area that the quality of health care provision is not compromised under Health Insurance. He announced that the Scheme has already signed contracts with all the District Health facilities, and arrangements have been made to sign agreement with two chemical shops in Zabzugu/Tatale, so that incase to referrals patients and scheme members could access drugs from these shops and cost would be borne by the scheme.

In an address the Zabzugu/Tatale District Polyclinic Medical Assistant, Mr Mohammed Abdulai said the Ghana Health Service has the mandate to providing health service to all people in the district, irrespective where one lives.

He said most people were not able to attend hospital due to financial reasons, which leads to high infant mortality rate other related health problems.