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Government committed to resolving NHIS challenges – President

By
Afedzi Abdullah/ Isaac Arkoh, GNA

Cape Coast, Aug.13, GNA – President Nana Addo
Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated government’s commitment to injecting
efficiency in the operations of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) by
settling all outstanding claims of service providers.

The NHIS, he noted, was core to the healthcare
delivery system in the country and, as such, behoved on the Government to make
it work effectively to serve its purpose.

President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance when
he delivered a speech at the 50th  Congregation and Fifth Oath Swearing and
Induction Ceremony of the School of Medical Sciences (SMS) of the University of
Cape Coast (UCC).

A total of 54 students, made up of 31 males
and 23 females, who successfully completed a six year programme of study
leading to the award of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB),
were inducted and sworn in as professionals.

The President said the Government, by dint of
prudent management within the short space of seven months, had cleared Gh¢560
million of the GH¢1.2 billion debt it inherited.

“I can confidently say that we will settle all
arrears within the next 12 months. This year, we are up to date on the payment
of claims to health care providers. It is essential that the business of health
care providers do not collapse,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo bemoaned the exodus of
trained medical doctors and other health personnel to foreign countries after
Ghana had continually trained them adding that more efforts were needed to keep
them as the country tried to bridge the shortage gap.

He expressed the commitment of the Government
to putting in place pragmatic measures to reduce the attrition rate of health
professionals.

He described the current doctor-patient ratio
of 1:8,000 as a worrying phenomenon and woefully inadequate to ensure effective
healthcare delivery in the country.

The President acknowledged that the situation
was even worse in rural and deprived communities and gave the assurance that
the Government would put in place the right conditions for doctors to find
rural communities more attractive to bring up their young families.

He said many of the answers to the problems
that bedevilled the health sector lay in improving the physical infrastructure
adding that government would strive to complete ongoing infrastructural
projects around the country.

As the Government tried to improve upon
infrastructure, it was equally important to expand health promotion programmes,
scale up disease prevention and environmental cleanliness campaigns to prevent
the perennial outbreak of avoidable diseases, he said.

President Akufo-Addo urged the newly qualified
doctors to accept postings to rural communities to contribute to enhancing
healthcare delivery in those areas.

He advised the new doctors to be guided by
their professional oath, dedicate themselves to their core mandate of saving
lives and emulate the vision and mission of the exploits of early
practitioners.

Professor Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, the Vice
Chancellor of UCC, enumerated several infrastructural challenges that affected
teaching and learning and the capacity of the school to admit more students,
which include inadequate physical infrastructure.

He appealed to the Government and all
stakeholders for support for the early completion of facilities to enhance the
capacity of the school to increase enrollment.

The Vice Chancellor said UCCSMS had graduated
243 quality medical doctors since its establishment in 2006, who were
practicing in the various health facilities across the country.

GNA

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