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Regional News Wed, 16 Mar 2005

Ahantaman Mutual Health Insurance Scheme launched

Agona-Nkwanta (W/R), March 16, GNA - Mr Kwesi Biney, Ahanta West acting District Chief Executive, on Wednesday said the district assembly has packaged a number of health projects to sustain the District Mutual Health Insurance Scheme.

Launching the Ahantaman Mutual Health Insurance Scheme at Agona-Nkwanta, he said components of the projects included construction of a 500 million-cedi doctor's bungalow and additional nurses' quarters at the Nana Hima Dekyi Hospital at Dixcove.

These facilities would provide accommodation for one doctor and nurses who would be posted to the hospital to reduce pressure on the existing staff as a result of the health insurance scheme.

Mr Biney said the district assembly would, from this year, sponsor five students annually for a three-year course in nursing.

The scholarships would be awarded only to indigenes resident in the district so that they would came back to the area to help in health delivery. Mr Biney advised collectors of premiums of the scheme against embezzling funds to ensure smooth implementation of the scheme.

Mr James Kyei, the Deputy Director of Pharmaceutical Services, said the Regional Directorate of GHS has put in place a task force on Health Insurance to facilitate the implementation of the NHIS. The Regional Directorate of GHS has also drawn a list of essential medicines that would be covered under the district mutual health insurance schemes as well as their prices.

The list is to promote rational use of medicines and "also reduce provider induced moral hazards that can collapse the health insurance scheme"

He said the scheme would not pay for drugs not included in the essential drug list and those sold above the recommended price. Nana Ghanteh Panyin III, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ahantaman Mutual Health Insurance Scheme, said 21,000 people have registered for the scheme.

He said 16,000 of the registered people are in the informal sector and the remaining 5,000 in the formal sector.

Nana Ghanteh said so far premiums amounting to 15 million cedis has been collected and appealed to the people to join the scheme and co-operate with the board and management of the scheme to make it successful.

Source: GNA