Dr Kofi Issah, acting Upper West Regional Director of Health Services has observed that even though the National Health Insurance Scheme's (NHIS) ultimate goal is to make people healthy, it is not a panacea for the promotion of quality healthcare delivery in the country.
He said the NHIS only helped to move the financial barriers of patients, but that needed to be complemented with the provision of improved equipment, efficient transport system, quality training of health personnel, and good management of health facilities as well as the changing of behaviour of health personnel towards patients.
Dr Issah made the observation at a forum with students from the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College, who are on a study tour of the Upper West Region to find out how government policies are being implemented and their impact on the people.
The 12 students including students from Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Mauritania are also to examine how political and socio-economic issues were impeding on development, as well as poverty alleviation, migration and epidemics that affected the people.
Dr Issah suggested that more attention be given to the teaching of quality healthcare practices at the household and community levels, to help in the prevention of diseases to guarantee quality healthcare delivery for the people.
He told the students that because of the NHIS there was workload on the nurses and doctors, especially those in the Upper West Region where a doctor-patient ratio stood at 127,000 to a doctor while that of a nurse was 1,000.
The Upper West Region has a population of 659,827, with six hospitals, nine doctors, 59 health centres, 50 community based health planning and services, 885 traditional birth attendants and 1,165 community based service volunteers.