Government’s attempt to institute one time premium policy for the National Health Insurance Scheme could suffer a major set back in the Northern Region since there are clear indications that the Tamale Teaching Hospital might soon cease operating the scheme.
Authorities at the Tamale Teaching Hospital are agrieved that the regional secretariat of the National Health Insurance Scheme owes that major health referral centre billions of Ghana cedis for services rendered to beneficiaries of the scheme over the years.
Dr. Ken Sagoe, Chief Executive Officer of the Tamale Teaching Hospital raised this as one of the major constraints affecting the hospital’s development agenda when he presented a report on the hospital’s annual performance review for the year 2009.
Dr. Sagoe said his administration mounted incessant pressure on the NHIS regional secretariat to defray the debt and that a cheque recently issued in response to the request bounced at the counter when attempts were made to withdraw the money.
The Tamale Teaching Hospital C.E.O complained that service providers have declined to supply the hospital with drugs and the necessary materials to function as the only referral hospital in the northern region.
Dr. Sagoe also disclosed that funding for the Tamale Teaching Hospital suffered a major setback because the hospital’s Government of Ghana item 2, budget was frozen and that worsened its financial crisis. Shifting his attention to some positive developments, Dr. Sagoe announced that negotiations and documentation required for the rehabilitation of the Tamale Teaching hospital was almost complete for work to begin.
The Tamale Teaching Hospital C.E.O said despite the ban on public sector employment, the hospital recruited 346 staff comprising 90 Nurses, 26 Doctors and what he referred to as 183 category D&E staff.
“Apart from the Neurosurgical unit which was opened in the year 2009: the Tamale Teaching Hospital has also operationalized the newly refurbished intensive care unit with the arrival of a consultant Anesthetist and intensive care specialist,” Dr. Sagoe stated.
In a related development, a non governmental group called Afram Plains Development Organization organized a day’s forum in Tamale code named “Behaviour change communication forum” to sensitize participants on the importance of protecting water bodies in less endowed communities.
Resource persons at the forum educated participants on the dangers associated with pollution of water bodies and insanitary practices which breed chronic diseases like cholera, malaria and guinea worm in many parts of Ghana. Dominic Dapaah, programmes Manager of the organization said the move targeted at educating residents of especially less endowed communities in northern Ghana to realize their potentials in the fight against poverty and malnutrition.
He outlined the Savelugu/Nantong, Yendi and Gushegu districts as some of the targeted areas in the northern region where the campaign will be intensified to improve the living conditions of residents living there.
Dominic Dapaah lauded the “I wash project” funded by UNICEF to assit district assemblies in the northern region succeed in eradicating water borne diseases and promised that the Afram Plains Development Organization will offer more assistance in that direction.
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