Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, the Director for the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), has called for honest, incisive and solutions searching conversation to care for human organ-related diseases in the country.
“We are not enemies with each other as stakeholders working to improve upon the health of Ghanaians, but in cases like this, I believe, the Ghana Medical Association, the Pharmaceutical companies and all key service providers need to sit and find lasting solutions to these emerging conditions to save lives,” he added.
Dr Okoe Boye was speaking at the opening of the 65th Annual General Conference of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) on the theme: “Advancing Universal Health, Who Cares for the Health Workers” in Takoradi in the Western Region.
He stressed the need for health care professionals to devise ways of helping patients to afford quality healthcare and urged them to fight illegal, unapproved charges through improved behavioural activities.
‘We are also looking at a comprehensive, sustainable plan to financing renal and other chronic conditions that put huge financial burdens on the affected,’ the NHIA Boss added.
The NHIA, he stated, had initiated the Sunshine policy to effectively clear or pay claims on time.
Dr Okoe Boye called on health care providers and the GMA to work with the scheme to ensure a clean claim sheet to save the government purse that promoted transparent dealings for a sustained scheme.
He said, “continue to also advise Ghanaians about healthy lifestyle practices to increase life expectancy and enable the average Ghanaian to live a fulfilled life.
Dr Frank Serebour, the President of the GMA, said health professionals were also human beings susceptible to diseases and needed comprehensive state policy for their medical care.
He said, “we are exposed to hazards, infections communicable diseases in line with duty and yet we are expected to pay out of pocket for treatment…we need to be protected and compensated properly.”
The GMA President was not happy about some emerging disease conditions as a result of illegal mining and improper disposals of cyanide and mercury, which was increasing the risk of cancers and producing malformed babies in some communities in Ghana.
He called for a swifter approach to ending the galamseymenace to save the future of the country.
Nana Kobina Nketsiah V, the Omanhene of the Essikado traditional area, adding his voice to the issues of galamsey, questioned why Regional Ministers, Chiefs and the Military continued to look on for Ghana’s pharmacology in nature to be destroyed.
He said, “I think we are suffering from inter-generational trauma and our duty bearers are the most affected….killing our natural resources, our values.”
The respected Chief called on leadership to fix internal medical systems rather than running to foreign countries for medical care.
“We need leadership to sign a bond to get treated anytime in Ghana rather than running abroad for care and I believe we have the specialists here, but what is left is investment and retooling of our hospitals to save lives in many cases…we need to be self-reliant indeed,” he said.
Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, the Western Regional Minister, lauded the professionals for raising the health of Ghanaians, adding, “you are doing an incredible job.”
He urged them to continue to work hard to achieve universal health coverage, being innovative in their various health facilities to provide quality care for Ghanaians.
New fellows were admitted into the Association while others were given meritorious awards for their contributions to the successes of the GMA over the years.