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General News of Tuesday, 22 June 2004

Source: GNA

14-Member National Health Insurance Council inaugurated

Accra, June 22, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Tuesday inaugurated the 14-Member National Health Insurance Council with a call on the members to promote harmonious relations between the insurance providers and the general public, who are the beneficiaries.

He said the Council must also ensure that their decisions, plans and programmes reflected the humanitarian ideal of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), which was to enable every Ghanaian whether rich or poor to access health care services as and when the need arose. President Kufuor also administered the oath of office and secrecy to the Council Members at the Castle, Osu.

He said the Council was expected to ensure that every part of the institutional framework of health insurance became functional as early as possible and urged the members to bring their sensitivity, innovation and diligence into play as they managed the Scheme for the public good.

President Kufuor appealed to Ghanaians to give their fullest co-operation and their unflinching support in the discharge of the pioneering duties of the first Council of the Scheme.

He said the introduction of the Scheme was an act of faith meant to bring relief to each and every Ghanaian as and when the need arose. President Kufuor said while in opposition, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was vocal in criticizing the Cash and Carry System of health delivery for its lack of a human face.

He said the NPP, therefore, pledged to introduce a more effective and people-friendly Scheme that would be affordable and accessible to all and sundry.

Mr Frank Braku Adu Junior, Managing Director of Cal Merchant Bank, who is the Chairman of the Council, on behalf of his colleagues said it was a privilege and opportunity for them to serve their country. He said with the confidence and trust reposed in them for the daunting task, they would perform the crucial and vital assignment to the best of their ability to ensure the success of the Scheme.

"It is our intention to succeed for the good of Ghana and we would endeavour to succeed so that the act of faith of the Government in us would be realized", he said.

The other members are: Dr Samuel Akotey Akor, Executive Secretary, Mr Moses Dani Baah, Deputy Minister of Health as the Ministry's representative, Dr Sam Adjei, Deputy Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and Mr Akwasi Osei, Director General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

The rest are; Nene Sakite II, Konor of Manya Krobo; Consumer's representative; Mr Issah Ketekewu, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, representing that Ministry.

Others are, Mr Kwaku Agyemang Manu, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning representing that Ministry; Mr J.E.K. Pratt, Mutual Health Insurance representative, Ms Lydia Lariba Bawa, Ghana Bar Association representative; Ms Josephine Jennifer Amoah, Ghana Insurance Commission representative and Dr Kwakye Marfo, Ghana Medical Association (GMA) representative.

The rest are Mr Kofi Asamoah, Organised Labour representative and Mrs Scholastica Mensah, Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana representative. A memorandum to the National Health Insurance Bill passed by Parliament on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 among other things said a regulatory Council the National Health Insurance Council with the objective of securing the implementation of the policy would be established.

"Among its functions are registering, licensing and supervising health insurance schemes and granting accreditation to healthcare providers and monitoring their performance.

It would also ensure that indigents are adequately catered for and manage the National Insurance Fund. 22 June 04