Member of Parliament for the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency, Lydia Seyram Alhassan has observed that the recent financial clearance by the Ministry of Finance paving way for the employment of some 53,681 health workers across the country has significantly contributed in addressing the staffing challenges that confronted the health sector.
This she said has significantly boosted healthcare delivery in the country.
The new lawmaker identified inadequate staffing and the lack of requisite machinery at the various Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) centres as the hurdles Ghana must scale in her quest to achieve universal care.
Miss Seyram Alhassan noted the challenges do not ensure efficiency and full functions of the centres in the health delivery process.
Presenting her maiden statement on the floor of Parliament on Monday to mark the 2019 World Health Day celebration, the MP who is a Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health indicated that access to quality and affordable healthcare is a right and not a privilege.
She disclosed that “the World Bank in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service (GHS), and the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is in the process of engineering an arrangement that would ensure healthcare at the various CHPS level with or without financial wherewithal”.
The new lawmaker stated that there are over 6,000 CHPS facilities in the country and noted that CHPS facilities, as the most decentralised form of healthcare delivery in the country, take care of an average of 5,000 people.
Miss Seyram Alhassan lauded Ghana’s tremendous gains at achieving Universal Health Care since the inception of the Fourth Republic.
"Rt.Hon. Speaker, Ghana has made tremendous gains at achieving UHC since the inception of the 4thRepublic. In the 1990s, the concept of “Community Based Health Planning Services” (CHPS) was started as a pilot project to ensure that basic healthcare is brought close to the citizen, right at where the citizen is domiciled.
Prior to the CHPS project, the health delivery system that was at base, close to the citizen was the Health Centre. Some Health Centres served population of over 50,000 and were at a driving distance of close to an hour in some cases,” she stated.
The MP noted the universal health care target in 2020 will be doable with the blessing of President Akufo Addo.
"The pursuit of UHC for all Ghanaians by 2020 by the Ministry of Health with the blessing of H.E Nana Akufo – Addo is workable, possible and achievable,” she stated.
In a contribution to the statement, Member of Parliament for Ledzokuku Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye indicated that the public should be educated on Universal Health Care and the prevention of some diseases.
He urged the need for healthcare to be affordable in order to ensure that individuals with little financial resources are not left out.
Dr. Okoe Boye noted that there is a need for some form of relief for patients with critical conditions but cannot afford to access quality healthcare at the hospitals.
He added Ghana must develop its health sector to a level that every individual above 40years can easily walk to a health facility and have a Computerised Tomography (CT) without any difficulty in access.
Dr. Okoe Boye urged Ghanaians to regularly visit health facilities for checkup and avoid being intimidated by cost involved.