The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has described as worrying, the decision by the Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy (GNCoP) to sell drugs only on cash basis.
President of the Association, Dr. Frank Serebour said although the decision would create problems, it is not surprising, considering the current economic difficulties.
He spoke exclusively to Joy Business’ Pious Kojo Backah on Thursday.
“It is quite worrying but not surprising. The reason why it is not surprising is because we all see the kind of economic situation we find ourselves in,” Dr Serebuor said.
The Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy (GNCoP) announced earlier that given the current economic challenges the group has decided to provide medicines solely on cash basis.
“All transactions with immediate effect shall be on cash basis until the economy stabilises,” President of the Pharmaceutical Importers and Wholesalers Association, William Adum Addo stated at a press conference on Thursday.
Dr. Frank Serebour said the Ghana Chamber of Pharmacy should not be blamed for this development as they are also trying to sustain their capital.
According to him, this should be a wake-up call for the government before what he believes could be the start of a collapse of the National Health Insurance Scheme.
“I think that this is a wake-up call to all of us as a country. As Ghana Health Service, as Ministry of Health and as government to look at the rate at which things are depreciating…if we are not careful, this is the beginning of the collapse of the National Health Insurance Scheme and so we need to quickly look at how we could stabilize the economy,” he explained.
The effect of the decision by the Chamber of Pharmacy could mean that hospitals now will have to get money to pay in cash before they could get drugs. This could result in patients being charged upfront for the drugs or hospitals going for loans.
He stressed that if the situation continues to persist, more hospitals will collapse.
“The rate at which we are going, most hospitals will go down. There is no way hospitals will have to stand on their feet. Essentially, this could mean that there will be a shortage of medicines in the hospital because hospitals cannot procure them,” Dr. Serebuor bemoaned.
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