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General News of Sunday, 14 September 2003

Source: GNA

NDC states its stand on health insurance

Bolgatanga, Sept. 14, GNA - The National Democratic Congress, (NDC) on Friday maintained that its refusal to participate in debates in parliament on the National Health Insurance Scheme is justified.

"As lawmakers, to ensure that we uphold the spirit of the country's constitution, we would not support the abuse of proceedings of parliament, neither would we engage in illegalities."

The NDC stated this at a press conference in Bolgatanga, organized by Mr Cletus Avoka, and Mr.Moses Asaga, members of parliament for Zebilla and Nabdam constituencies respectively.

The MPs contended that the scheme was flowed with ambiguity and has no future, adding that the position of the NDC and its walkouts as a minority in parliament was a representative position of majority of Ghanaians.

They suggested that government should rather encourage and resituate the mutual health insurance scheme initiated by the NDC, adding that the scheme has been successful in all the districts it was piloted because of its bottom up approach.

The conference said SSNIT has limited scope to absorb the scheme, adding that if funding is to be derived from the Social Security contributions of civil servants, then, the scheme could only have a lifespan of 25 years.

The NDC therefore, called for a concrete source of funding the scheme and not rely on donor agencies and SSNIT as its source of funding.

They called on President John Agyekum Kufuor, not to rush to assent the bill until all available channels have been exhausted. Touching on the Dagbon crisis, the MPs said the NDC has no solution to the Dagbon crisis and that the New Patriotic Party government whose tenure saw the conflict sparked should be in the best position to find a lasting solution to the crisis.

They further called on government to mount a vigorous search and arrest all the perpetrators of the conflict, as well as exhibit transparency and commitment in prosecuting the perpetrators.