The Community Development Alliance (CDA), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has observed that the charging of unofficial fees by health service providers is one of the major causes of preventable deaths, especially among pregnant women and newborns.
It said pregnant women and other members of the society who were active subscribers of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) were reluctant in seeking timely medical due to the fear of being charged fees they could not pay.
Mr. Salifu Issifu Kanton, the Executive Director of the CDA, observed in interview complaints from a section of the public about paying for health services that were covered by the NHIS.
He explained that the situation was compounded by the recent general economic hardship experienced in the country which the poor people were the worst affected.
He stressed that NHIS cardholders must be offered the full services as spelled out in the benefits package since the active card bearer had already paid for those services.
Mr. Kanton said unapproved top-up charges by some health facilities as one of the setbacks to timely access to healthcare services, especially by the poor and vulnerable groups in society.
He was of the view that the maternal and newborn deaths recorded in the region were a result of the unapproved charges at the facilities.
Source: Info Radio