Nigeria To Learn From Ghana's Health Sector Reforms
The Minister of Health, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie on Monday said though Ghana has chalked some success in it's health sector reform programme, a number of problems has prevented the swift flow of implementing policies and programmes that would bring out the full benefit to the people. He explained that some of the steps taken by government in the reform programme are to correct the economic decadence and to minimize the problem of providing quality health care delivery to all. Dr Afriyie said this when he welcomed a 20-man, delegation of health experts from the Federal Ministry of Health, (FMOH), Nigeria, who are in the country to study Ghana's Health Sector Reform programme. The delegation, led by Dr. Eyitawo Lambo, would spend two weeks, during which they would meet with some health experts, including the Ministry of Local Government, the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Health and some District Assemblies, to study details of the Health Reform document. Dr Afriyie said due to the poverty levels in some areas of the country, a lot of funds had to go into the free provision of quality health care, so that the vision of providing health care to all will be realised. He said, "World Bank demanded that we recover some of the funds given us over the past, and the only solution was to implement the Cash and Carry system, to be able to recover and pay some of our debts”. He said government is however trying to replace the Cash and Carry system with the National Health Insurance Scheme, which has already started in some areas in the regions. He added that the success of this Scheme would offer Ghanaians the opportunity to access health facilities at any level without necessarily paying before receiving treatment. Mr. Lambo told the Minister that Ghana was chosen together with South Africa and Uganda for the studies due to the successes in those countries health reforms for the past few years. He said the exchange programme, dubbed the "Change-Agent-Programme," (CAP) was organised by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Nigeria in collaboration with the U.K Department of International Development (DFID) to identify, support, motivate and empower individuals about health system reforms in their country.