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Health News Mon, 30 Jan 2006

DCE called for priority treatment of people registered with NHIS

Mpraeso (E/R), Jan. 30, GNA- The District Chief Executive for Kwahu South, Nana Kofi Onwona-Asante, has appealed to medical staff to give priority service to people registered with the National Health Insurance Schemes(NHIS) who attend their facilities.

He explained that, such treatment would encourage people who had not registered with the NHIS to do so and benefit from the schemes. Nana Onwona-Asante was speaking at this year's Annual Kwahu South District Health Performance Review meeting at Mpraeso at the weekend. He said the Okwahuman Health Insurance Scheme was the oldest and the most successful in the Eastern Region and the District could not afford to draw back from the achievements that it had made. Nana Onwona-Asante urged the health workers to give the necessary support to the NHIS to ensure that it achieved 70 per cent coverage by next year.

The Medical Director of the Kwahu Government Hospital, Atibie, Dr Isaac Osabutey, debunked the notion that holders of Health Insurance cards were discriminated against when they visit the hospitals and were given only "pain killers and maltivites". He explained that, no medical doctor had time to check if a patient was registered with the NHIS before prescribing the required drugs for the patient.

Dr Osabutey said medical officers were only interested in prescribing the drugs that would help their patients to recover according to their health conditions without necessarily considering if the patient or an organisation was paying for the drugs. He said the pride of any medical officer was that the people in the community would always appreciate their contribution in solving the health needs of the members of the community.

Dr Osabutey said in the year under review, the four medical officers of the hospital performed 565 minor and 584 major surgeries, while 502 dental surgeries were also conducted.

He said each of the medical officers therefore conducted over 300 surgeries within the year, in addition to other medical services.

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Dr Osabutey said Out Patients Department (OPD) attendance also increased by 10 per cent from 38,055 in 2004 to 42,106 in 2005. He said the hospital was able to network all revenue points and key offices, saying this was enhancing documentation, especially the health insurance data claims.

Dr Osabutey said the measures taken enabled the hospital to increase its internally-generated revenue by over 30 per cent from over three million cedis in 2004 to about 4 million cedis in 2005. He said as part of the hospital's emergency preparedness programme, all the wards as well as the theatre and the casualty units were provided with new emergency cabinets, stocked with emergency drugs and supplies.

Dr Osabutey also said emergency trolleys fitted with oxygen bottles and some essential instruments and logistics were provided for the casualty, children, male and the female wards.

The Kwahu South District Director of Health Services, Dr J. K. L. Opare, regretted that despite the high knowledge of contraceptives, many young pregnant girls in the district continued to die by drinking coca-cola with high concentration of salt or coca-cola with broken grinded bottles in their efforts to terminate unwanted pregnancies. He called for more efforts to make emergency contraceptive drugs and other family planning methods available to the people to increase the family planning acceptable rate beyond the current 27 per cent rate in the district.

Dr. Opare said the tuberculosis cure rate in the district increased from 56.1 per cent in 2004 to 82 per cent in 2005.

Source: GNA