Some doctors and nurses at the Tamale Teaching Hospital in the Northern region have been captured on camera extorting monies from patients despite free healthcare services under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Their targets were mainly relatives of expectant and nursing mothers who were covered under government’s free maternal healthcare scheme but were still asked to pay ward fee.
An expectant father only identified as Alhassan said doctors demanded he paid GHC108 to cover drugs meant to induce labor for his helpless wife, which according to them was not under the health insurance.
According to Alhassan after the second payment for the money that was demanded, he was not given receipts even though he requested for it.
Meanwhile, under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) programme, pregnant women are to receive free full package access to antenatal, prenatal and postnatal care.
The Chief Executive of the Tamale Teaching Hospital Dr. David Kobila said management of the hospital had heard of extortion of money from patients but no one had formally filed a complaint or brought forth evidence.
Investigations however revealed that nursing mothers who were unable to pay these monies were detained at the facility.
In some of his cases of extortion, a nurse “came to tell me I should pay GH?5 or GH?10 so he or she could prepare tea for my wife”.
Some victims were also asked to pay monies just to see the sex of the new born baby.
In the case of Alhassan, he said nurses demanded money from him before he was allowed to say prayers in the ears of his newly born baby as it was practiced in Islam.
However, he was not the only Muslim who had to pay before he could say these Islamic prayers.