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Health News Wed, 31 Dec 2008

Dormaa health scheme makes significant headway

Dormaa Ahenkro (B/A), Dec. 31, GNA - Dormaa Mutual Health Insurance Scheme in the Brong Ahafo Region, has hit 61 per cent coverage of its target population of 153,000. Mr Stephen Hayford Baah, chairman of the scheme's board, disclosed at the third general meeting at Dormaa Ahenkro. He explained that as at October 31 this year, the scheme had registered a total of 91,558 members, a substantial increase from 52,575 in the year 2007 and noted that ready access to the scheme had enabled more clients to obtain basic health care. "Patients' attendance at health facilities in the area has jumped from 80,887 in 2006 to 153,387", Mr Baah said, adding that the scheme was making efforts to procure the national identification cards for members.

The board chairman said the scheme had also accredited three more service providers to enhance its policy of extending quality health care to the doorsteps of the people. Mr Baah commended the National Health Insurance Authority, Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and Dormaa West and East Assemblies for their continued support to the scheme. Mr Yaw Ntow Ababio, MP for Dormaa East, offered to pay the salaries of two of the scheme's administrative staff for the next four years and urged the scheme to intensify its membership drive. Mr William Sebi, Brong Ahafo Regional Manager of the National Health Insurance Authority, stressed that the introduction of free membership for pregnant women was not only meant to encourage them to join the scheme.

"More importantly the measure is to help reduce maternal and child mortality to the barest minimum," he said. The Regional Manager announced that regional offices of the Authority had been established for closer collaboration between the Authority and the mutual and district schemes.

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He appealed to the media to seek clarification on issues about the Authority and urged health care and service providers to work to encourage rather than scare existing and prospective members. Barima Okogyeatuo Agyeman, Adontenhene of Dormaa Traditional Area, who presided, commended the board and staff of the scheme for their diligence and appealed to the people to join the scheme. At an open forum, members complained about delays in the registration process and also wondered why all ailments were not covered under the scheme. v

Source: GNA