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13.03.2006 Regional News

Private service provider in Ho designated as referral clinic

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Ho, March 13, GNA - The Management of the Ho District Mutual Health Insurance Scheme has designated the Miracle Health Clinic, a private service provider under the scheme, as a referral clinic. This is to avoid the abuse of the system by some members who shun the public healthcare providers in the area and throng that clinic to seek treatment for minor cases.

Mr Mawuko Tsigbey, Public Relations Officer of the Scheme gave the hint in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Ho on Monday. Mr Tsigbey said many of those who attended the clinic were first time callers and in the informal sector's lowest premium category of 72,000 cedis yearly. He said given the fact that Miracle Health Clinic's fees regime was high, management met to streamline the state of affairs before the bills being drawn on the Scheme made it unsustainable. Mr Tsigbey said bills from the Miracle Life Clinic in December 2005 - two months after the Ho Scheme became operational- was about 2.3 million cedis, rising to 15 million in January 2006 and 35 million cedis in February this year. He explained that the Miracle Life Clinic was still a service provider under the Scheme but would serve only card carriers who were referred to it for certain specialized services.

Mr Tsigbey said members who were using the services of the clinic before the scheme became operational and had folders there could continue to attend that clinic. He said delays; anti-client postures of some workers at public health institutions and the notion that services were better at private clinics might have led to the rush to the Miracle Life Clinic. Mr Tsigbey said a survey indicated that clients of the Scheme preferred to seek medical care from the Ho Polyclinic rather than the Municipal Hospital. He praised staff of the Polyclinic and the efforts of Dr Geoffrey Nyamuame, Medical Director of the Volta Regional Hospital in adopting a lower fees regime for clients of the Scheme who call at the tertiary hospital for the treatment of cases that could be handled at the Municipal Hospital and the Polyclinic. The Ho District Mutual Health Insurance Scheme covers the newly created Adaklu-Anyigbe District as well.