Medical practitioners in various facilities should be allowed to prescribe all medicines covered by the health insurance scheme irrespective of the status of the health facility they work.
This suggestion was made by medical practitioners working in various facilities in the Shama District of the Western Region.
Two medical doctors working in the District said they experienced limitations in prescribing various medications by virtue of the status of facilities in which they were working.
Dr Christable Ayepah, Senior Medical Officer in charge of the Shama Health Centre and Dr Jack Galley of the St Benedict Hospital, told Mr Eric Cobbina, the Shama District Chief Executive, during visits to their health facilities.
The DCE was on a day’s working visit to various health facilities in the district to acquaint himself with the operations and challenges facing them.
He was accompanied by Dr Abraham Techie-Menson, the Shama District Health Director and Mr Kwamina Takyi Arthur, District Manager of the NHIS.
Dr Ayepah said while a medical doctor with the same qualification at superior hospitals like the Effia Nkwanta and Korle Bu could prescribe all medications covered by the scheme, they at various centers and clinics did not have such privileges.
The only alternative was to refer patients who needed such medicines to the higher health facilities even though “we know which medicine to dispense”, Dr Ayepah said.
Mr Cobbina said despite the challenges, medical doctors and pharmacists must present the true picture to patients instead of telling them that the NHIS did not cover particular medication, as by doing this, they could be sending wrong information to the public and even discrediting government and the health insurance system.
He expressed surprise at the prevailing situation and suggested that the scheme be reviewed to ensure fairness to all medical doctors in the country.
Mr Cobbina visited health facilities at Awuna Beach, Sopomu Dunkwa, Inchaban, Fawomanye, Anto-Aboso and Aboadze; all the nurses and attendants complained of various constraints of working with limited logistics.
They complained of some challenges including the frequent power outage due to poor electrical installations, irregular water supply, working materials and roof leakages among others.
Mr Cobbina assured the various health institutions of collaborating with the relevant authorities to get the situation rectified.
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