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Gov't asks NHIS card holders to access private clinics but GMA says that won't work
From: GhanalMyjoyonline.comIEdwin Appiah          Published On: April 10, 2013, 00:33 GMT
 
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Gov't asks NHIS card holders to access private clinics but GMA says that won't work
Government has urged National Health Insurance Scheme card holders to access health care at private hospitals, as medical doctors at the public hospitals continue their strike.

Minister of Information and Media Relations Mahama Ayariga who gave the advise in a release issued Wednesday, also described the strike by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) as illegal.

The release provided a full list of private and mission hospitals in the country that have been accredited by National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to provide healthcare service to NHIS card holders.

Mr Ayariga, in his statement noted “there are hundreds of such facilities in the country, and government believes there is no reason for people to suffer because the doctors in public hospitals have decided to embark on a strike for no justified reason”.

But the Ghana Medical Association is angry over assertions by Information Minister Mahama Ayariga that the ongoing strike by the doctors is unjustified.

The GMA President Dr Opoku Adusei said the measures being put in place by government may not be sustainable.

He said the comments will only provoke doctors and make them resolute on their stance. He also said that the call to the public to use their NHIS cards at private clinics will not work.

"They must find a way to solve the problem...if they think that that is a permanent solution to the problem then there is no discussion"

"Some people think that Ghana is only Accra and Accra is only Ghana. They forget about the villages and hinterlands. If you don't have places where there are such facilities what do you do?"

Meanwhile information available to Joynews said that private and missionary hospitals in Kumasi have turned away patients with NHIS cards.

The Kwadaso SDA Hospital said that because of capitation issues, clients "must pay cash or change their choice of capitation".


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