GMA warns of imminent return to “cash and carry” over NHIS debts

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA), has called on the Government and National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), to as a matter of urgency pay all monies owed the various health facilities with immediate effect.

Health facilities would be compelled to initiate cash and carry as a mode of payment in their quest to ensure continuous service delivery as well as to forestall their collapse.

Addressing the media at a press conference at the end of the 19th Public Lecture and National Executive Council (NEC) Meeting in Cape Coast on Sunday, Dr. Frank Ankobea, President of the GMA, noted with great concern the effect of the NHlA’s failure to pay health facilities, both public and private for services rendered from September 2018 to May 2019.

The GMA also expressed worry about the surge in teenage pregnancies in the country and called on stakeholders to institute practical measures based on scientific evidence to address the root causes of teenage pregnancy.

“It is important that, as a country, we work to prevent the occurrence of teen pregnancies by ensuring that adolescents especially those out of school are supported with life skills development,” Dr Ankobea said.

Dr Ankobea said the impact of teenage pregnancy was felt at individual, family, community and national levels, thus truncating the ambitions of many young girls regarding their future aspirations.

The GMA, however, recommended the institutionalization of teen pregnancy audits in all health facilities to make available appropriate, timely, relevant and easy to digest information on the phenomenon.

“The society has to battle with issues of delinquent children who can become social misfits, while government has to battle with effects on population growth and development. However, in the unfortunate event of the pregnancy occurring, it is important to ensure the safety of the adolescent and the unborn child by ensuring that they get access to trained health professionals for medical care,”  he said.

“There could also be serious health implications including vesico-vaginal fistulas, mental illness, malnutrition and others; which may sometimes lead to mortalities. The family has to contend with the care of another individual, especially where the father of the child is not in a position to support financially,” he added.

The GMA further called for a coordinated response at the level of the adolescent, peer, civil society, educational institutions, parental and state to undertake consistent mass education on the effects of adolescent abuse.

Dr Ankobea said the Social Welfare Department should be well resourced and strengthened to play its role of providing psyco-social services to affected adolescent.

Source: GNA

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