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Health News Thu, 27 Apr 2006

HIS in E/R complain of financial irregularities

Koforidua, April 27, GNA- Members of District-wide Health Insurance Schemes in Eastern Region have levelled a number of serious allegations of malpractices against Medical Officers at Government Hospitals towards subscribers of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the region.

The allegations included alleged illegal and high cost of treatment and the inclusion of un-delivered services to subscribers of the NHIS on their bills.

The allegations were made at a meeting of the Eastern Regional branch of the Ghana Network of Mutual Health Insurance Organisation of Ghana (GNeMHO) at Koforidua on Wednesday, which drew three representatives from each of the 17 districts in the Eastern Region. Based on the allegations, the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Ms. Susana Mensah, who was chaired the function, charged the Scheme managers to be bold to expose any health personnel involved in the illegal activities threatening the survival of the NHIS for the necessary action.

She reminded them that they were in their employment because of the existence of the NHIS and warned that they stood to loose their employment if they looked on unconcerned for the schemes they were managing to collapse.

The Eastern Regional Director of Health Service, Dr Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyirah, called on the Schemes to use the social power they wield to challenge the management of the health facilities and the medical officers for them to change from their negative altitudes. He urged the Schemes to hold regular meetings with their service providers and be bold in raising any complaints that they have during such meetings to challenge the management of the hospitals to put pressure on their staff to change their altitude.

Dr Appiah-Denkyirah urged the Scheme managers to sign Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with accredited private health providers to break the monopoly of the public ones and advised the Schemes to promote group insurance among civil society organizations, especially the churches and mosques.

The National President of GNeMHO, Mr John E.K. Pratt, called on the Scheme managers to work hard to increase the number of subscribers of their schemes to increase their revenue base for their sustenance when the National Health Insurance Council withdrew its financial support.

He said this year, the GNeMHO was working for the provision of salary structure for the management staff of the schemes and the allowances for the chairman and the members of the Board of Directors of the Schemes.

Dr A. G. Boohene, chairman of the Ghana Health Service Council and also chairman of the Akuapem North District Health Insurance Scheme, called for the use of the NHIS to promote local manufacturing and distribution of drugs on decentralized levels in the country. He also called for the provision of an accounting manual and reporting system to guide the Schemes.

In a welcoming address, the chairman of the Eastern Regional GNeMHO, Nana Adarkwah Boadi Yiadom II, advised against early withdrawal of support to the National Health Insurance Council for the District Health Insurance Schemes.

Source: GNA