Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon has stated the challenge with Ghana’s quest to achieving universal health care lies in the staffing of Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS) facilities with the needed logistics to enable them function fully and efficiently as service delivery centres.
Lydia Seyram Alhassan noted that the CHPS concept has made healthcare in terms of physical facilities in Ghana almost universal with over 6,000 facilities across the country.
She noted that access to quality and affordable healthcare is a right and not a privilege and stressed access involves creating strong productive workforce, fit in the body and creative in the mind and well positioned to deliver vibrant, resilient and progressive society.
Hon. Seyram Alhassan who delivered a statement on Monday to commemorate World Health Day, which is observed on 7th April annually, noted that universal health care is not just an issue of the health of citizens but the strength of the country, captured in the health of its people and anchored in the quality of their thinking.
Ghana, she said, has made tremendous gains at achieving universal health care since the inception of the 4th republic, which led to the initiating of the CHPS facility concept.
She argued that the recent clearance for employment of 53,681 health workers, majority of who are nurses has significantly contributed in addressing staffing challenges.
She disclosed that the World Bank, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service and the National Health Insurance Authority is initiating an arrangement that would ensure every Ghanaian receives healthcare at the CHPS level with or without money.
Contributing to the statement, member for Kade, Kwabena Ohemeng Tinyase, observed that Ghana’s ability to achieve universal health care lies in the decentralization of healthcare delivery.
The CHPS concept, he said, is therefore an idea that needs more attention to ensure health delivery reaches every rural community.
He lamented that the Nightingale concept that has guided nursing for all these while appears to have lost its worth with people pursuing the course without really being committed to the profession.
He said, “Nurses are refusing postings to rural areas while some threat pregnant and ailing patients as if they are straws.”
He appealed to the Health Ministry to assemble a monitoring team to go round to observe how healthcare is being delivered to ensure Ghanaians get the best of it.
Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye, MP for Ledzokuku, in his contribution stated that many Ghanaians are living with health conditions that could otherwise be treated.
He noted that if all Ghanaians above 40 years could visit healthcare facilities for CT scans without being intimidated by the huge cost, they would know their health status and how to address any identified challenge.
According to him, many in Ghana live with health conditions because they have avoided hospitals with the fear of being pushed into poverty as a result of the cost of healthcare.
Dr. Okoe Boye noted that universal health care is intended to lift people out of poverty but in Africa, access to health rather drags people under the poverty line.
He said, “Universal access to health is not the physical structure or CHPS compounds alone but also affordability.”
He praised the World Bank project with the NHIA intended to provide affordable healthcare to Ghanaians who do not have the ability to pay.
By Osumanu Al-Hassanemail@example.com