Health service providers adopting co-payment system

stethoscopePatients seeking health attention at the various healthcare centres under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) have succumbed to paying part of the cost of services rendered to them.

But civil society groups have raised concern over the practice of co-payment.

They explained that if nothing was done to reverse the practice, patients might bear the total cost of health services provided them in the long run.

Dr Gilbert Buckle, Executive Director of Christian Health Association of Ghana, said co-payment was real, but that might be alternative solution for service providers to stay in operation.

The NHIS is expected to reduce financial burden of beneficiaries and also provide financial sustainability to service providers.

Dr Buckle, however, said under payment and delayed payment of cost of services had negatively impacted on services providers, many of whom had folded up their businesses.

He also mentioned erratic foreign exchange rate and inflation as factors influencing the cost of medicines or drugs provided to patients.

Dr Buckle called on the NHIS to respond to the financial needs of the service providers to stay in business and provide quality services to clients.

Dr Joseph Boateng, a Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast Medical School said health professionals ought to be accountable to patients.

He observed that Health professionals, particularly doctors and nurses, must show compassion, comfort and provide all information that the patient required.

He said it was wrong for doctors for example to keep the information of patients under secrecy.

Source: GNA

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