THE PRESBYTERIAN Church of Ghana has called on government to do everything within its power to rescue the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) from total collapse due to its immense contribution towards health provision in the country.
The church noted with concern the myriad challenges that had plagued the NHIS introduced to replace the cash and carry system which made it impossible for many to access health care.
In a communiqué issued by the General Assembly of the church read by its Moderator, Rt. Rev Professor Emmanuel Martey on Monday, it noted with concern the severe strain under which the NHIS found itself thus defeating the purpose for which it was established, adding that holders of the card found it difficult to access healthcare.
“The hope was that the NHIS would be improved upon by successive governments to make it more effective, remove the bottle necks that plagued it and bring many Ghanaians under its operation; however, PCG has noted with concern the severe strain under which the NHIS finds itself,” he said.
He noted that although government had taken a lot of initiatives to address health issues in the country, not much had been done concerning the human resource base of health institutions.
“We are informed that about 90 percent of newly posted doctors did not report to their new stations last year and reasons given included discriminatory postings and unattractive conditions of services,” he said.
He said the general atmosphere in hospitals, ranging from congestion at wards, old furniture and outdated equipment to tired, angry and depressed nurses, doctors and attendants made hospitals one of the most dreaded places to visit.
The moderator urged government to consider the issue of incentives to health workers to encourage them to accept postings to rural areas and provide modern equipment and techniques of healthcare delivery.
Rt. Rev Prof Martey also expressed concern about the emergence of ethnocentricity, which was gradually rearing its ugly head in the country and said it could severely harm peaceful coexistence.
“Ghanaians are civilized people and the deadly disease of ethnocentricity is not very apparent in Ghana, but cracks are beginning to occur and Ghana needs to be reminded of the lethal disease of ethnicity,” he said.
He condemned the activities of small-scale illegal mining operators popularly known as ‘galamsey’ which were polluting water bodies with mercury that could cause kidney problems, arthritis, miscarriage, brain damage, memory loss and psychotic reactions.
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