Minister calls for strict enforcement of traffic legislations
The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Benjamin Kuunbuor, has called for strict enforcement of traffic legislation including those on the use of seatbelts and crash helmets and alcohol consumption by drivers, to reduce road accidents in the country.
He said traffic injures cost low and middle income countries between one per cent and two percent of their gross national product, more than the total development aid they received.
Dr Kuunbuor was speaking at the opening of the 31st Annual Congress of the Society of Private Medical and Dental Practitioners, organised on the theme “Road Traffic Accidents-A National disaster”, in Cape Coast.
He said that statistics indicated that globally, more than 3000 people died daily from road accident injuries, with the low and middle income countries accounting for about 85 per cent of such deaths, which were largely preventable.
Dr Kumbuor observed that in the last two years, road injures and deaths was a major public health issue in Ghana and throughout the world and called on the health sector to provide the appropriate pre-hospital care and rehabilitation needs.
He said the tackling road accidents should be high on the national agenda, adding that more than half of the people killed in road accidents were young adults between 15 years and 44 years.
Dr Kumbuor said that the reduction in road accidents could contribute to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
He commended the private sector for providing and improving health care and human resource development for the health sector.
Dr Abbah Foli, National Chairman of the Society, said members were committed to providing excellent health care for the public but expressed regret that the current global economic situation coupled with the delay in the NHIS reimbursement were affecting health care delivery.
He said about 70 per cent of private clinics operated the NHIS but because of the delay in reimbursement they had to obtain loans to keep them in business.
Dr Foli said that despite the numerous problems facing the society, it has been able to establish a multi-purpose health facility in the Ga district, adding that plans were far advanced to establish four hospitals in each region to improve health care delivery in the rural areas.
He suggested the release of funds from the road fund to provide specialised ambulances to operate in accident prone areas to help reduce the mis-handling of accident patients.