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I don’t want to cry and say everything is so bad but … – Dr. Nawaane, Nabdam MP worried about Ghana’s chances at UHC

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Ghana’s dream of attaining universal health coverage may be far from reality because of the obvious challenges in the health sector. This is according to the Member of Parliament for Nabdam in the Upper East Region who doubles as the Deputy Ranking Member on the Health Select Committee in Parliament, Dr. Mark Kurt Nawaane.

According to the WHO, universal health coverage means that all people have access to the health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship. It includes the full range of essential health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care.

Currently, at least half of the people in the world do not receive the health services they need. About 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty each year because of out-of-pocket spending on health.

Speaking on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show, Mr. Nawaane said the current government’s addition to the health sector has been minimal. He said the government is still undecided about its own infrastructural policy; Agenda 111.

“We are still struggling. Look at Agenda 111 and you will see that this nation, we are still struggling with our thoughts of putting things together. We are still not putting our acts together in such a way that we will bring down all these critical parameters that the universal health coverage is asking that we should be able to attain.”

“Maternal deaths should be approaching zero, we should be eliminating a lot of these infectious diseases. I do not want to cry and say everything is so bad but, I will say that we are simply not making the right decisions,” he said.

Dr. Nawaane also explained that the government has not been fair to service providers under the National Health Insurance Scheme.

In lieu of this, service providers have been forced to implement a system dubbed ‘co-payment’. Dr. Nawaane defines the ‘co-payment’ as a system where some selected services which are supposed to be covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) are not. This means that while on paper, the treatment or essential drugs are supposed to be provided for free, patients have to pay.

Other times, patients are forced to ‘top-up’ the payments before they are allowed access to certain drugs and treatments.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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