Hundreds defy downpour for “Mie Kukum” demonstration in Ho

Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm June 2, 2019 21:55

Hundreds defy downpour for “Mie Kukum” demonstration in Ho

Hundreds of people including some executive members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Volta Region on Friday defied a morning downpour for a street protest against what they described a “collapsing National Health Insurance Scheme.”

The demonstration, dubbed: “Mie kukum” (we are dying), was organised by the Coalition of Health Care Delivery Monitors, a pressure group, and attracted operators of commercial motorcycles, and traditional warrior groups in the Ho Municipality, all clad in black and red.

The three-hour street protest was characterised by dancing and singing with some demonstrators displaying placards, some of which read: “Nana pay for the NHIS claims on time,” “NHIS is now cash and carry,” “We pay for common Paracetamol” and “NHIS is not working.”

Leaders of the Coalition and some Regional Executives of NDC took turns to address the gathering at the Nfodjoh Park at about 1000 hours, mainly calling on government to “fix” the NHIS.

Mr Precious Agbenya, a member of the Coalition claimed NHIS subscriptions currently stood at 64 per cent, down from 76 per cent under the previous government.

Mr Benjamin Kpodo, Member of Parliament for Ho told the media that most health facilities had for months been owed by the Scheme, a situation, which affected health service delivery.

He said the NDC was committed to the welfare of the people and obliged to inform stakeholders about the situation on the ground.

Mr James Gunu, the Regional Secretary of NDC said there was the need to send a signal to the President that the Scheme was not working, and that the pile up of arrears was having rippling effects on healthcare delivery.

He alleged that the current administration inherited many investments in healthcare infrastructure from the previous government, and called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to “consider the plight of the poor” and ensure that the delivery of healthcare was not rolled back to the era of “cash and carry.”

“We need to send a strong signal to the President that the Scheme is not working. People are paying their taxes and must reap the benefits. We must not go back to cash and carry”, he said.

Meanwhile Mr Joseph Homenya, Volta Regional Director of the National Health Insurance Authority in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, described the demonstration as a “health walk”.

He said it was not true that the NHIS was collapsing and that the Scheme’s achievements in membership, innovation, credentialing and claims payment was incomparable.

“Health insurance is not collapsing… it has gained strengths that it has not gotten in the past… we are delivering at our peak even though we want to do more and this is evident in many ways… Health insurance is doing far better than in the past”, he said.

Mr Homenya said the active membership of the Scheme in the Volta Region at the end of April, 2019 was 848,444 from 797,625 in January 2018 and that the figures reflected the increase in national subscription, which currently totalled 11,021,850.

He said over 98 per cent of health facilities had been paid in the Volta region, and that those being owed by the Scheme were yet to submit their claims.

Mr Homenya said innovations such as the mobile renewals would minimise difficulties in renewing subscriptions, and that over 79,000 subscribers in the region had accessed the portal.

He asked subscribers to readily report health facilities demanding cash payments for services covered by the Scheme to the Authority for redress.

Mr Kafui Agbleze, NDC Regional Communications Director and candidates aspiring to the position of Regional Chairman of the NDC were among the demonstrators.

GNA

Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm June 2, 2019 21:55
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