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Don’t Undermine Kassena-Nankana Mutual Health Insurance Scheme

2006-11-29 23:10:01
This article has been read 738 times.

THE KASSENA District Chief (DCE), Mr. Emmanuel Chegeweh has warned that anybody caught undermining the success of the Kassena-Nankana Mutual Health Insurance Scheme would be made to face the full rigours of the law.

The warning came in the wake of reports indicating some forms of abuses of the Scheme by some health facilities registered with the Scheme and some Scheme beneficiaries.

Giving the warning at the maiden annual general meeting of the Scheme, the DCE said the reports indicated that some health facilities were frustrating the system to make it unattractive to clients by denying them drugs under the pretext of unavailability of such drugs and give out prescriptions to buy the drugs from unapproved chemists where the Scheme’s card could not be accepted.

He added that some health officials had been prescribing very expensive drugs while there were cheaper substitutes for the same ailments and this, he said, could collapse the Scheme in no time.

Mr. Chegeweh learnt that some clients also feigned sick and attended the health facilities for drugs on behalf of non-registered sick relatives.

He urged opinion leaders and the general assembly of the Scheme to educate the people against such criminality, warning that perpetrators of such crimes would be dealt with severely when caught.

He reiterated that the government introduced the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in order to make healthcare affordable and accessible to all Ghanaians in the country since the Scheme recognized the importance of good health to every individual irrespective of ones social standing.

The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr.Boniface Gambilla, in as speech read on his behalf, noted that in spite of the numerous challenges being faced, the Kassena-Nankana Mutual Health Insurance Scheme being the first to become operational in the Upper East Region, continues to make steady progress since it took off in November 1, 2005.

He commended the Scheme for once again, being the first to hold its annual general meeting to enable it take stock of the past and fashion out strategies for further improvement.

He also commended the Kassena-Nankana District Assembly for its unflinching support to the Scheme secretariat and pledged the Regional Coordinating Council’s support to the Scheme whenever necessary.

Presenting his report, the Kassena-Nankana Mutual Health Insurance Scheme Manager, Mr. Davis Samari, said aside the NHI medicine list which he called for a review, and the abuse of the Scheme by clients and health personnel, identified the law that established the Scheme as one of the major challenges facing the Scheme.

According to the law, a person under eighteen years of age could only benefit when both parents had fully paid their contributions and this, he said, discriminate against innocent people because of irresponsibilties of others, indicating that it was uncommon to see women prepared for themselves and the registration fees of their children but husbands who were supposed to even pay for the family were not prepared to pay their own contributions.

He called on the government, Parliament and the National Health Insurance Council (NHIC) to take a second look at the law that established the Scheme to enable some innocent people who were being discriminated against due to the irresponsibility of others, to benefit from the Scheme.

Mr. Samari disclosed that the Scheme though had made remarkable progress by registering about 36,000 representing 23.3% of the District’s population by the end of October, this year, as compared to 13,372 people registered in 2005 being 9% of the District’s population of about 156,000, it was rather too low that it could not achieve the 40% to 50% of the total District population set as the target for 2006.

He therefore urged Chiefs, Assembly Members and the Community Health Insurance Committees to intensify their education and encourage people to join the Scheme so that they could also benefit from it.

The Scheme, he announced, mobilized over ¢631 million while government released ¢2 billion as a subsidy to children under eighteen years of age, aged, indigenes and orphans in orphanages but it had so far paid claims of over ¢1billion.

There were several testimonies about the benefits of the Scheme from beneficiaries.

source: Chronicle

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