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Danger Looms for Health Insurance in Upper West

2006-08-09 20:59:36
This article has been read 727 times.

District Mutual Health Insurance Schemes in the Upper West Region are in danger of running into financial difficulties as a result of high cost of the services rendered to subscribers at the medical facilities in the region.

Dr Daniel Yayemain, Senior Medical Officer in charge of Public health in the region, who made the observation, said there were also huge disparities in the average medical cost per client in the various districts.

For instance, the average cost of treating one subscriber to the scheme in the Lawra district was 35,000 cedis as against 15,000 cedis in the Wa East District and 11,000 cedis in the Wa Municipality. He was giving an overview of the health situation in the region at Wa during a regional mid-year review meeting of the health sector organized by the Ghana Health Service and the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council.

The two-day meeting would review the performance of the health sector with the region as the focus, particularly the national health insurance scheme in order to accelerate its progress in the region and also deliberate on the draft new national health policy for consensus building.

Dr. Yayemain said the National Health insurance scheme had so far recorded only 19 per cent coverage for the whole region with the Jirapa/Lambussie District registering the highest coverage of 23 per cent, which are far below the regional target of 50 per cent.

On the guinea worm disease, he said there was a remarkable achievement in its reduction by 50 per cent during the first half of this year as against the same period last year.

Mr Ambrose Dery, Upper West Regional Minister said with the current mortality rate of 208 per 1,000 live births for children under five years along side a high maternal mortality rate, the region might not meet the millennium development goals in that sector.

He said he had been assured by the Executive Director of UNICEF who was in the country recently that if the region reduced the children under- five mortality rate from 208 to 104 per 1,000 live births by 2008, she would visit the region in that year.

"Few Countries in the World have the privilege to have the Executive Director as a guest and as a region, that privilege has been thrown to us as a challenge".

UNICEF, he announced, was currently providing technical assistance and funds for the training of health service providers on integrated management of childhood illness and training of 2,500 volunteers on community based management of childhood diseases.

The Organization, he said had since last year provided a total of 78,000 insecticide treated bed nets for distribution to children and pregnant women.

Dr Erasmus Agongo, the Regional Director of Health Services urged Municipal and District Chief Executives to encourage and support health personnel in their areas to meet their targets.

source: Ghanaweb

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