ALBAN BAGBIN, Minister for Health has directed the Chief Executive of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital to stop the collection of GHÂ˘50 from private nurse-trainees as practical fees.
The health minister told Parliament Tuesday that until recently his outfit had not been aware of the payment.
Bagbin disclosed this whilst answering a question posed by New Patriotic NPP (NPP) MP for Offinso North, Augustine Collins Ntim as to why âprivate nursing schools are charged GHÂ˘50 as practical fees at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital whereas their counterparts in public schools do not pay any fees yet they all end up working for the state?â
Responding, he explained that since public nursing institutions were not paying such fees it would be unfair to ask the private ones to continue making the payments.
He said he had been informed that the amount was to assist Korle-Bu to procure consumables for use by the trainees.
It was also to assist the hospital motivate specialists who take the trainees through practical training at the hospital.
âHowever when the attention of the ministry was drawn to it, it directed that it should be discontinued,â Bagbin stated.
Asked whether the total undisclosed amount collected so far will be refunded, the minister who is also the MP for Nadowli West said it was not possible as such a move could be problematic.
In a related development, the health minister told the House that the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) had been undergoing continual organizational strengthening processes since its establishment to enable it effectively execute its role as regulator, supervisor and implementer of the NHIS.
This, he observed had seen significant organizational strengthening and implementation of new initiatives over the years.
He said three new divisions namely clinical audit, claims and strategy and corporate affairs have been created.
According to him, the clinical audits have recovered over GHÂ˘18 million in overpayments to providers.
This had helped in the scaling up of ICT implementation, and accreditation of health care providers which had contributed to the quality of service, he noted.
In answering a question from Samuel Evans Ashong Narh, Tema East MP, Bagbin also informed Parliament that there were no plans to upgrade Tema Manhean Health Centre to hospital status.
Government, he pointed out, rather plans to upgrade Tema General Hospital to the status of regional hospital and provide Ashaiman with a municipal hospital.
By Awudu Mahama