The St Joseph’s Hospital in Jirapa is reverting to the cash and carry effective 8th May 2017 as a result of the inability of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to regularly reimburse the Hospital for services rendered to clients under the Scheme.

The Medical Superintendent of the Hospital, Dr. Richard Wodah-Seme who announced the move by the Hospital to go “cash and carry” indicated that the hospital has been compelled to take what he terms “this rather painful decision due to the seemingly inertia on the part of relevant authorities” to pay for services rendered to bearers of NHIS Card.Dr. Wodah-Seme dropped the hint at Jirapa during the celebration of the World Sick Day and honoring of 21 workers of the St. Joseph’s Hospital who retired in 2015 and 2016.GBC’s Correspondent Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo reports that the three-prong event equally saw the Catholic Bishop of Wa, Most Reverend Richard Kuuia Baawobr inaugurating boards for the Hospital as well as the Jirapa Nursing Training Schools.According to Dr. Wodah-Seme, 96 percent of clients of the St. Joseph’s Hospital are health insurance card holders and the personnel of the facility have to bend backwards to provide the needed care to patients but the reimbursement from the Scheme has been “very erratic and epilepticus”.The Medical Superintendent of the Hospital said as at May 2017, the facility has only been paid for January, March and April 2016 with the rest of the months still outstanding.Dr. Wodah-Seme pointed out that the payment for February 2016 was skipped and that even the March and April 2016 reimbursements were not in full.

He lamented that an assurance was given that by the end of April this year, significant amount of the indebtedness would have been settled but nothing has been done forcing the Hospital to opt for “cash and carry” beginning on the 8th of this month.Touching on the situation on hand, Dr. Wodah-Seme indicated that patients on admission have to go out and buy their medicines whilst at times surgeries are cancelled because of lack of consumables.

In a homily, Bishop Richard Kuuia Baawobr told the people to use the World Day of the Sick to reflect on what the Lord has done for them when others took care of them in their time of sickness and renew themselves spiritually to carry out Jesus’ mission of serving the poor, the weak, the suffering, the outcast and the marginalized. Inaugurating the boards, the Bishop charged members to be mindful of their duty to defend the dignity of patients.

The Upper West Regional Director of Health, Dr. Winfred Ofosu charged health personnel to improve on their attitude to work and warned that any health worker who will be caught taking illegal monies from patients will be severely punished.A retired worker, Madam Grace Dakurah who spoke on behalf of her colleague award winners thanked management of the Hospital for the recognition, saying the gesture has marveled them.Madam Dakurah encouraged senior health workers to mentor and carry junior colleagues along to enable them to continue the healing ministry of Christ.Those who were honored for their meritorious and dedicated service to the Hospital received certificates of honor, plaques and items ranging from refrigerators, Television sets to microwaves.As part of the occasion, Bishop Baawobr in the company of Dr Wodah-Seme, Dr. Ofosu and other dignitaries went round some wards in the hospital to feed patients in keeping with the World Day of the Sick celebration which calls for prayer, giving of support and hope to the unwell.

GBC

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