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400% Hike In Birth Registration Fee   
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Pregnant women may enjoy free medical care under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), but they cannot avoid paying higher fees to register the babies. This follows the approval by Parliament of proposals by the Birth and Death Registry for an increase in fees charged for the registration of births and deaths certificates.

According to Madam Comfort Bonney, Ashanti Regional Registration Officer, the registry was changing the process of registration from the manual system to a modern computerised system in an effort to curb malpractices associated with the issuance of birth and death certificates. In an interview with The Chronicle last Wednesday, Mad. Bonney stated that with the old manual system, people could issue fake certificates, and therefore had left certain people with more than one of such certificates, which they use for dubious practices. With the new system, we would be able to check double registration and get relieved of the tedious task of the current registration process, she said.

This new system, she explained, had led to the increment in the fees one has to pay, if one wants to register the occurrence of a birth or death. A statistician, Mr. Mark Asare, who was present during The Chronicle enquiry, said the fee charged for registering a birth under twelve months, which was hitherto free, would now cost GH1.25 according to the approved proposals. Fees for registering childbirth over twelve months, has gone up by 400%, from GH2 to GH10. No fee is charged for a death which occurs within seven days of registration, and this remains the same under the new system.

Statistician Asare said there was an increase from GH2 to GH4.80 (140%) for the registration of a death, which is registered from eight to thirty days from the occurrence of the death, while GH9.80 is charged after thirty days. Death registration after burial, within twelve months, which used to be GH10, is now GH41.30 (313%), whereas registration of a death after burial after twelve months, has increased from GH10 to GH60.80 (608%). Burial permit for a deceased person brought into the country, has been increased from GH5 to GH7.80.

He said that all these charges are minus the cost of an affidavit, which is to be issued by the courts as demanded by Act 301 of 1965, which was amended in 1968 Constitution. Mr. Asare urged members of the public not to confuse fees paid at the registration for whatever services they require, with fees they pay at the court for the affidavit.
Source: The Chronicle

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