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Health News of Thursday, 27 August 2009

Source: GNA

Ho Municipal Hospital goes "cash and carry"

Ho, Aug. 27, GNA - Out Patient Department (O.P.D) attendance at the Ho Municipal Hospital has dropped drastically following the resolve of the hospital to go "cash and carry," in view of the indebtedness of the Municipal Mutual Health Insurance Scheme to it.

The hospital has been turning away patients with the scheme's card since Monday, except those willing to pay for services. Dr Kofi Gafatsi Normanyo, Medical Superintendent of the hospital said attendance at the facility had dropped from a little above 300 a day to about 200 "and still going down".

He said the scheme had not paid claims submitted to it from February to August this year and as a result, the hospital could not purchase the necessary logistics to treat patients, including the large numbers of the scheme's clients.

"It is impossible to continue to render services to Health Insurance holders on credit while our suppliers are on us," Dr Normanyo said.

He said the hospital had been trying to cope with the situation but was compelled, as matters got worse, to start declining services to people with the cards and sometimes painfully turning pregnant women away because of lack of gloves. When contacted, Mr Dickson Nuku Dansu, Claims Manager, confirmed that the Scheme owed the hospital and that measures were being taken to address the issue.

He said his outfit had written to the headquarters and was hopeful that the debt would be paid soon.

Meanwhile, some patients with the Insurance Card the GNA spoke to expressed disappointment at the situation and wondered why their health was being toyed with.