Ghana needs political leadership to attain UHC-ARHR

Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights (ARHR) has called for political leadership to now more than ever champion the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to enable Ghana to achieve the 2030 target. The ARHR in collaboration with the Ghana Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) platform on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also called for a strengthened healthcare workforce to deliver quality healthcare, and advocate for increased and better investments for UHC. It again asked for guaranteed gender equality in health and monitoring, accountability, and multi-stakeholder engagement for the attainment of UHC. Dr Esther Offei-Aboagye, the ARHR Board Chair, said if these issues among others raised by the CSOs were addressed Ghana would be able to achieve universal health coverage and goal three of the SDG, which calls for good health and well-being. She made the call on behalf of the groups in a statement issued at the end of a multi-stakeholder stocktaking and momentum-building Forum on UHC under the theme ‘UHC; Moving Together to Build a Healthier Ghana’. She said the engagement was necessitated due to the upcoming UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to be held on September 21, 2023, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. The UN High-Level meeting will provide countries and stakeholders an opportunity to reinvigorate progress towards delivering health for all with seven years more towards the attainment of the 2030 target. Dr Offei-Aboagye said the meeting was, therefore, to discuss Ghana’s progress on the roadmap for attaining UHC, the political declaration, and explore the linkages between gender and national strategies to achieve UHC in Ghana. Dr Joseph Nii Ofoe Dodoo, a Policy Analyst Ministry of Health, assured that the Ministry and partners had developed and made operational two key health sector policy frameworks in response to the health needs of Ghanaians. The policies include the National Health Policy (NHP) and the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Roadmap. According to Dr Dodoo, the NHP offers a whole-of-government and a whole-of-society approach to delivering holistic, comprehensive, equitable, affordable, and responsive health services toward better quality of life for Ghanaians. He stated that the UHC roadmap would thus ensure that all people in Ghana have timely access to high-quality health services irrespective of their ability to pay at the point of use. The Policy Analyst said despite these efforts by the government to ensure equitable and quality health services for all Ghanaians, discussions revealed gaps in service delivery and assured that efforts were being made to address the lapses. Dr Opoku-Boateng, the Deputy Director of Data Analytics, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), speaking on his institution’s capacity to UHC said the NHIA has chalked some successes in its membership enrolment of 54 per cent coverage. He said despite this, the NHIS was faced with funding challenges, increasing the cost of drugs, as well as co-payment and quality of care. The Deputy Director of Data Analytics said currently the NHIS did not support disease prevention, promotion, rehabilitation, and palliative services but on the UHC package. This is a gap that has been identified and efforts were being made to get them onto the scheme to help achieve the UHC target by 2030, Dr Opoku-Boateng stated.

Source: Ghana News Agency