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Access, cost of health still a challenge to many Ghanaians – Patrick Anamoo

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Ahead of the 2020 general election, the New Patriotic Party promised to expand the overall healthcare infrastructure to ensure that healthcare systems became more accessible and affordable.

Two years down the line, there are still huge challenges with regard to access and cost of healthcare in Ghana. This is according to the Coalitionof NGOs in Health. The Upper East Regional Secretary of the Coalition of NGOs in Health, Patrick Anamoo shared these sentiments when he spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show.

“Investing in Health: The global pandemic has reinforced the adage that “a sound mind in a sound body” is our best defence against new diseases and economic meltdowns. This dovetails into the Ghana Beyond Aid’s grounding in healthy, active citizens with skills and education prepared for the future. In addition to all the interventions we have made in the health sector, including the provision of, for the first time in our history, over 300 ambulances, we will, over the next four years, complete the delivery of the largest healthcare infrastructure investment by any government in the last five decades, including the construction of 101 District Hospitals with doctors and nurses accommodation, 7 new regional hospitals, rehabilitation of the Efia Nkwanta Hospital, 2 new psychiatric hospitals, 3 infectious disease centres for the three ecological zones, a Ghana Centre for Disease Control, as well as complete ongoing projects in the health sector.”

“We will also bring health promotion and prevention as part of primary health care under the NHIS, which will continue to be free for children, the elderly, and other vulnerable groups to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC). We will remove import duties on sanitary pads to improve health outcomes for girls while supporting local production to meet demand, complete the ongoing digitisation initiatives, while also increasing the manpower resources in the healthcare sector. We will invest in expanding infrastructure in medical schools to train more doctors, and streamline the admission of foreign-trained doctors into Ghana,” portions of the NPP’s manifesto read.

Mr. Anamoo explained that while the government may have made some effort two years down the line, the glaring challenges still remain.

“When you look at what is happening now, it includes building the conscience of the person to accept taking medications. When that is done, then you are talking about having access to the health facility. We are also talking about the road network. Even having the means of transport to transport such a person to the facility is another challenge. After that challenge is addressed, you are talking about getting to the health facility and getting access to the health professional to treat you in time. These basic challenges, I would say, are still not in good shape or better for the average Ghanaian as we speak.”

Mr. Anamoo continued to say, “affordability still remains a challenge and the average Ghanaian remains anxious. We are talking about the NHIS, how many people are enrolled, how many people are active and you are talking about the medications that are covered by the NHIS.”

“What we have seen in terms of our monitoring is that when you go to the health facility, they will say this and this [the drugs] are not covered by the health insurance. And the pricing on those drugs, the average Ghanaian cannot afford. Some of the basic treatments are not even covered by health insurance. So what makes it affordable?” he asked.

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

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