Alex Segbefia, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Deputy Campaign Manager, has put a cost on his party’s Free Primary Health Care promise.
Giving more insight into the promise first revealed by the NDC flagbearer, Dr. Segbefia said it will cost $18 million.
It is to cover persons who seek healthcare services at the district level and lower.
“We have costed it. It is going to cost us $18 million… in that policy, we are saying that anybody who goes to a district hospital and below [will get] free health care.”
Beyond the cost, the NDC expects this policy to ease pressure on major hospitals, allowing them to focus on more critical healthcare areas.
“The plan is to leave regional hospitals to deal with the more serious cases which they are meant for,” Dr. Segbefia noted.
“It is clogging up our regional and tertiary institutions for things that can be done elsewhere. We have to move the people to areas where they can be dealt with; from the CHPS compounds to the health centres to the polyclinics, to the district hospitals.”
The former Health Minister further downplayed any concerns about how the NDC will be able to finance promise citing recent interventions in the country because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have just taken $100 million under COVID. We have taken another $1 billion as a loan. You mean as a country, we can’t find an extra $18 million to give free healthcare from district hospitals and below?”
The NDC has described this plan “as the fulcrum” around which its Health Policy will revolve should it win power in the 2020 elections.
It expects to have the policy up and running before the end of 2021.
“Our free health care plan will guarantee a healthy people and provide a healthy workforce needed to accelerate our development,” John Mahama had said.