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31.03.2006 Health

"Mystery Patients" to be used to track down health workers

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Koforidua, March 31, GNA- The Eastern Regional Health Administration is to adopt "Mystery Patients" system to track down health workers whose activities were alleged to be disrupting the implementation of the Health Insurance Schemes in the region. Under the system, healthy people bearing health insurance cards would disguise themselves as patients and report at the hospital to observe how they would be treated, reaction and utterances of health workers towards them.

The measure is one of the investigative tools that the Regional Health Administration is employing to investigate allegations of discrimination, charging of illegal fees and discouraging of health insurance card bearers in the Eastern Region.

The Deputy Eastern Regional Director of Health Service, Dr Kojo Tinkorang announced this at a durbar of health workers at the Koforidua Regional Hospital at Koforidua on Friday.

He explained that some allegations had alarmed the Regional Co-ordinating Council and last Wednesday, the Regional Directorate of Health Services was invited to the Eastern Regional Security Council to explain queries on the allegations. Dr Tinkorang warned that any health workers who would be found guilty of any of the allegations would not be spared. The Eastern Regional Health Administrator, Mr Lucio Derry, explained that it was discriminatory for health workers to tell a Health Insurance Card bearing client to wait for cash paying patients to be served before them.

He advised nurses and paramedical staff of the Hospital not to condone and connive any illegal fee charging or be dealt with when caught.

Mr Derry said the Regional Health Administration would organize similar durbars for the staff of all hospitals in the Region. The Medical Superintendent of the Koforidua Regional Hospital, Dr Obeng Apori, advised the staff to clear with the management of the Hospital on issues that they were not conversant with. He urged the staff to report to management clients of the hospital who misconduct themselves instead of taking that job on themselves and urged those at places where patients had to wait for a long time to frequently explain to them why they had to wait that long.