The Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has reiterated the call for medical bills of raped and defiled victims to be absorbed by the National Health Insurance Scheme.
According to him, we already have a well operationalized scheme which is the National Health Insurance Scheme so there is no need for a new fund.
Moreover, such a move, he said will enable victims and their families report such cases to the police for prompt actions.
In a stakeholder’s engagement organized by Plan International Ghana to deliberate on how medical examination bills for sexual and gender-based violence survivors can be abolished, the MP said,“Fortunately for us as a country, we have a National Health Insurance Scheme which is well operationalized, can’t we just make this one of the items that health insurance should take care of?”.
The MP again said another option is to look at another existing fund which is the district assembly common fund to take care of medical bills of raped and defiled victims.
In Ghana, sexual and gender-based violence survivors are compelled to pay between Ghc 300 and Ghc 1,500 for medical examination, treatment consultation in order to complete police medical forms to be able to seek justice and have their perpetrators punished.
In spite provisions in the Domestic Violence act.2007 (act 732) section 8 which states “a victim of domestic violence who is assisted by the police to obtain medical treatment under subsection (1) (c) is entitled to free medical treatment from the state”. SGBV survivors are continuously charged by health facilities anytime they walk in to obtain medical report for the pursuance of justice.
However, families of the victims mostly in the rural areas are unable to pay as a result making it difficult to access justice. This has left these perpetrators openly posing more threat to the life of young people especially women and children in the community.
Plan International Ghana believes lack of evidence to assist the prosecution of Sexual and Gender- Based violence cases particularly rape and defilement connects to the pervasive absence of medical reports when survivors are unable to pay the fees charged.
The Country Director for Plan International Ghana, Solomon Tesfa Mariam, said the organization will remain committed to Ghanaians and work with other relevant institutions so that every injustice issues affecting girls, boys, women and men will be addressed.