Insurance companies unwilling to insure ‘makeshift’ Medical Store

Insurance companies unwilling to insure ‘makeshift’ Medical Store
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Austin Brakopowers | Email: Austin.powers@myjoyonline.com
Date: 23-11-2017 Time: 07:11:47:pm
Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu

The Health Ministry says it has adopted a new drug distribution system after insurance companies refused to insure the temporary Central Medical Store.

Director of the Ministry, Dr Afisa Zakariah said the companies have expressed their disinterest because the new store housing the country’s drugs and medical equipment is a rented facility.

She told Gifty Andoh Appiah on Joy FM’s Top Story Thursday, the Ministry has been compelled to distribute medical supplies on a large scale to avert future mass destruction in the event of fire outbreak.

“What we have done is not to keep the medicine there for long [so] we use the distribution system we have in place to send the drugs out, up to the last point of need,” she said.

The Health Ministry has converted a temporary store into the Central Medical Store after fire destroyed the main facility in Tema in 2015.

Drugs and medical equipment worth over $80 million were destroyed in the fire.

But two years after the destruction of the store, the Health Ministry has revealed a new warehouse is being operated without any insurance cover.

Dr Zakariah said the insurance companies have been unwilling to provide protection for the new store because it was a rented place.

But she disclosed the Health Ministry has been meeting with donors to secure funds to construct a proper structure for the storage of the drugs.

Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Nsiah Asare said his outfit has directed all the regional stores to be upgraded in order to take in more drugs.

He said already an instruction has been given for all the stores to be insured, promising the GHS will ensure the protection of the drugs for the country.

“Insurance alone doesn’t give us comfort so we have to be on the lookout and be watchful,” he said.

But Binduri Member of Parliament (MP), Dr Robert Baba Kuganab-Lem has asked the Ministry to forward the report on the fire that destroyed the Central Medical Store to the police for prosecution.

He deplored government’s handling of the matter, saying prosecution can start without the forensic audit recommended by the investigative committee.

“A forensic audit had to be timely [but] the police should be given the preliminary report to see what they can do to prosecute culprits,” he said.

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