Overcrowding At Health Insurance Office
Patrons of the Wassa West National Health Insurance Scheme have appealed to the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Assembly to relocate the scheme from the Tarkwa Community Centre to a more spacious and convenient place. They said the present location is too small, overcrowded, unfriendly to persons with disability and there was long wait for either renewal of expired national health insurance cards or the registration of new ones unduly delay. Speaking to the Ghana News Agency at the centre Madam Grace Obeng, a nursing mother, said apart from lack of furniture for individuals who patronise the office, the long queues coupled with the manual endorsement of each identification card made it stressful. “Sometimes, after waiting in the queue for almost four hours, you are told to go home and return the following day,” she said. Mr. Isaac Buah, a resident of Oppon Valley, said the long distance they had to travel to register to join the scheme was stressful and too expensive. “We may be compelled to abandon the scheme entirely and resort to the use of herbs and other healing opportunities that exist within our communities” he said. Mr. Buah said he had travelled to the scheme’s office three times Presently the scheme shares the community centre with a drinking bar, the Municipal Electoral Commission office, municipal assembly meetings and two churches also operate there. Each time any of these groups haa an event, the staff have no other option than to endure the noise from musical instruments. He appealed to the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to create a scheme for the Prestea Huni Valley area to make the registration, renewal and other services with the scheme easier. Mr. Francis Adjei, Scheme Manager for Wassa West, said the long queues indicated that people were responding and patronising the scheme. He said the Wassa West NHIS covers both Tarkwa-Nsuaem and the Prestea Huni Valley district (PHDA) and thus its area of coverage is wide. Mr. Adjei said at the moment the scheme had no plans to re-locate but was managing with the five room temporary office accommodation provided by the Tarkwa Nsuaem Assembly.