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Health News Fri, 28 Jul 2006

Builsa community can't afford Health Insurance premium

Bolgatanga, July 28, GNA - A total of 51.5 per cent of respondents in a survey in the Builsa District of the Upper East Region say they cannot afford the premium of 72,000 cedis for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

The research conducted by three civil society organisations, Grassroots Africa (GRA), Oncho-Free Development Agency (ODA) and Partnership for Sustainable Development (PSD) was made known at a workshop in Bolgatanga on Thursday for NHIS Managers, Health Directors and the public.

The findings attributed the inability of majority of people in the Builsa community to pay to the high mortality rate of livestock and poultry in the area.

The survey, which targeted the disabled, widows, pensioners, aged and the rural poor, also revealed that health personnel had no patience to listen to patients to give them the needed attention citing an instance where a pregnant woman was slapped by a health worker. Medical personnel, the study stressed, did not live by the ethics of their profession and also showed that 66.5 per cent of the 224 respondents did not know the procedure for accessing healthcare through the NHIS due to the high level of illiteracy and were intimidated by health personnel, scaring them from joining the NHIS.

The Director of the ODA in charge of the Builsa District, Mr. Thomas Issah, said the Government, should consider registering the "very poor" to enable them to access health facilities.

Source: GNA