Regional News of Sat, 1 Nov 20030
Hospital lacks facilities to implement insurance scheme
Drobo (BA) Nov 1, GNA - Lack of a medical doctor and inadequate health facilities at Saint Mary's hospital at Drobo is adversely affecting the Jaman South District Health Insurance Scheme in Brong Ahafo.
Mr Sylvester Kwaku Dapaah, Chairman of the Scheme on Friday said in an interview with Ghana News Agency at the second annual general meeting of the scheme at Drobo that the only district hospital had been without a medical doctor since last September.
He said the district scheme had been operating for the past two years and members of the scheme were supposed to report at the hospital for medical attention.
Registration of the scheme has been so low ever since as compared to the time it started because people entertain the fear of investing in a scheme that they cannot benefit from at the proposed hospital for health care, Mr Dapaah added.
He said the people were informed when they made enquiries that the doctor stationed at the hospital was on study leave outside the country and had been replaced by another doctor who was yet to report for duty. Mr Dapaah noted that doctors often refused postings to the district hospital because of inadequate health facilities as well as good schools for their children.
Mr Dapaah said the scheme, with a membership of 13,091 was able to make a surplus of 28,844,000 cedis from May 2002 to April 2003, which had been invested in shares after paying out 47,612,200 medical bills for 200 members from a premium of 76,860,000 cedis.
He urged members to find appropriate corrective measures to forestall a possible shortfall, since an average of 24 million cedis per month threatened the future of the scheme.
Due to the high patronage this year, the scheme has spent 116,600,560 cedis on 583 members from May to September out of their contributions of 261,820,000 cedis, the scheme's chairman added.
Mr Dapaah noted that the practice by some heads of families to register only their sick relations and lived in unhygienic surroundings had been some of the challenges facing the scheme, but said efforts were being made in collaboration with Ghana Health Service workers and other stakeholders to educate members to improve environmental sanitation.
He said 417,000 cedis, which was misappropriated by an agent from Gonasua in the district had been retrieved and paid into the scheme's account, adding that a case of impersonation involving the collection of a cheque of 139,100 cedis by an unknown person had been reported to the police.
Addressing the meeting, Nana Kwadwo Seinti, Regional Minister, in a speech read for him entreated workers to consider the two-and-half percent of their SSNIT contributions toward the scheme "as rendering services to their sisters and brothers who cannot afford their medical bills."
This is not the first time that the population is contributing to national development since almost all the infrastructure in the country were built out of the sweat of cocoa framers, he said.
He said the success of the scheme in the Jaman South and Nkoranza districts were very encouraging to spur the public on as a nation in finding lasting solutions to health problems and advised the people to support the scheme to attain a higher level to enlist many people in the district.
The Regional Minister appealed to chiefs, opinion leaders and NGOs to take appropriate steps to check the fast spread of HIV/AIDS in the country.
The pandemic has no cure, he stressed and advised the youth to abstain from illicit sex, exhibit passion to HIV patients and not to shun their company.