Experts urge Government to prioritise healthcare of citizens in Ghana

Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, Former Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has called on the government to prioritise the health of the citizenry to guarantee the wealth of the country.

Professor Akosa said when attention was paid to the health needs of the people such as preventive, curative and prevention, it ensured a healthy nation, saying, ‘the wealth of a nation is the health of its people.’

Professor Akosa, who was speaking at the Graphic National Development Series in Accra, on the theme: ‘Quality Health for all’, said the government must make deliberate attempts to ensure that the citizenry had access to quality and affordable healthcare, hence the need for health promotion and education for all.

‘If health becomes a government priority, then the development is centred on people, if the people are not healthy and strong, their creativity and productivity would not be ensured for the needed development of the country.

So, we need the health of the people, health and education are the
twin social endeavours that would grow a country and when the people are educated, they would be productive and help the country to strive,’ he stated.

He stressed that by prioritising health, Ghanaians must be educated to live a healthy lifestyle, such as reducing alcohol intake, avoiding tobacco, eating well, emphasising on local dishes, exercising and good sleeping to ensure quality rest, provision of quality water and good sanitation among others, describing them as social determinants of health, which contributed to the health of individuals.

Prof Akosa added that medical research must also be funded to help ensure an effective and solid health promotion for the good of the country.

‘For me, the Government is to make sure that to make healthcare a priority and that will be possible by ensuring that the amount of money you give to health should commensurate with the Abuja declaration, we signed that 15 per cent of our expendable budget should go

into health. We have never achieved that and that for me
tells me that there is no priority,’ he added.

The former Director General urged Ghanaians to be responsible for their health needs and do the right thing as the government did its part to prioritise healthcare in the country.

He noted that many of the diseases being recorded were unhealthy lifestyles, hence the need to reverse the trend to ensure safety.

Professor Aaron Abuosi, Professor of Health Policy and Management, Department of Health Services Management, University of Ghana Business School, said Ghana’s population was growing faster, especially the youthful population, which called for the urgent need to focus attention on ensuring universal healthcare for all.

Prof Abuosi expressed worry as communicable diseases were giving way to non-communicable diseases at an increasing and frightening rate, which must be confronted with an effective intervention to address the menace, particularly the prevention aspect.

He called for a review of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to cater for all ci
tizens, regardless of their socio-economic status as well as caring for all kinds of services, whether chronic or otherwise at a lower cost.’

He was hopeful that policy makers and politicians would reflect on the issues to influence policy making regarding the country’s future of healthcare.

Source: Ghana News Agency