The Executive Director of the Ark Foundation, Ghana, Angela Dwamena Aboagye, has reiterated the call for medical bills of raped and defiled victims to be absorbed by the National Health Insurance Scheme.
Mrs Dwamena Aboagye said another option was to allow hospitals to use their Internally Generated Fund to take care of medical bills of raped and defiled victims.
In a telephone interview with the Ghana News Agency, the Executive Director noted that Section Eight of the Gender-Based Violence Act made provision for victims to be treated free of charge but that was not being implemented.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in its 2020 Election Manifesto promised to scrap the system where rape victims are required to pay for their medical bills.
The Party said it would put measures in place to ensure that persons who were sexually abused had access to free medical services.
Raped and defiled victims are required to pay medical bills, a situation, which denies victims, access to justice and the fight against Gender-Based Violence.
The Executive Director said the NDC’s promise was not new and that her organisation and other institutions had over the years advocated for free services for raped and defiled victims once they were accompanied by Police Officers.
She said unfortunately, some hospitals were charging between GH¢250.00 and GH¢800.00 as medical fees for victims of sexual abuse and that the practice was affecting the fight against Domestic Violence because medical report forms were crucial evidential materials in court and most parents were unable to afford the fees.
“We have been advocating for such free medical services for raped and defiled victims since the Domestic Violence Act, Act 732 (2007) was passed by Parliament in June 2007,’’ she added.
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