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General News of Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

NHIS exists in name; not in reality – Bawku Naba laments

The Bawku Chief has lamented about the collapse of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the country.

Garu Naba Garu says the NHIS exists only in name with the situation on the ground very different as patients try in vain to access healthcare.

The Bawku Naba disclosed this when the Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, visited him as part of his campaign tour ahead of the December polls.

The NPP leader has promised to construct one dam in every village in the Northern Region. He also told the people his government will invest $1.6 billion to fight poverty.

Presidential candidate of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), President John Mahama, visited Bawku Naba this month as part of his campaign and was given a white handkerchief and dressed in a traditional Fugu dress.

This was interpreted by some supporters of the NDC to mean the Chief has thrown his weight behind the second term bid of the President.
But Bawku Naba said it is traditional to dress dignitaries who pay homage to him.

According to him, he dressed President Mahama in the same way Mr Akufo-Addo was dressed, adding, he does not need to clarify anything to the public.
'It is my prayer that God willing he [Akufo-Addo] will get what he wants to become the President of Ghana,' he said.

He says he is looking forward to a government that will be responsible for promises made to him.

Comparatively, he said former President John Kufuor promised to make Bawku a district when given the mandate to become President in the 2000 election and this was delivered when he was elected.

However, he said the NDC government has promised to construct a hospital in the area but that has not been done.
'We even heard from news that construction has reached lent level but this is not true,' he said.

Mindful of the constitutional dictate that prevents chiefs from engaging in active politics, Bawku Naba told nana Addo to leave matters to him because 'Chiefs vote, their families vote, and their people vote.'

He said it is his prayer that the 'Grace of God and our ancestors will follow you and when elected as president of Ghana.'

Reacting to Bawku Naba's comment on the Joy FM's Top Story programme, NDC Campaign Coordinator, Kofi Adams said he is compelled to accept what the chief said because he has a "right to speak."

He wondered why the chief would describe the NHIS as collapsing when the scheme has recorded more patronage than when it was instituted.

"The number of people rushing to take National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) card is increasing so how can something collapsing be recording huge numbers of fresh application?" he asked.

Mr Adams said the NDC is very clear that "this government has done a lot and we will continue selling the message."