Last Updated on October 8, 2020 by MyGh.Online
Dr. Edward Omane Boamah speaking at the press conference
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) says it will deliver a well-functioning Free Primary Health Care (FPHC)programme when voted into power in the December polls.
According to the party, under its Free Primary Health Care policy (FPHC), the public will have access to free healthcare in polyclinics, health centres, Community Health Planning Services (CHPS) compounds and district hospitals across the country.
It added that a patient would not need to be on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to benefit from the policy.
Speaking at the NDC’s weekly press briefings in Accra on Thursday, October 8 to outline the health policies and programmes in their manifesto, a former Minister of Communication, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, said that the policy would focus on health promotion interventions, preventive health and to make the NHIS better.
Dr. Boamah, who is also one of the NDC’s campaign spokesperson on health, said that the implementation of the policy would be funded with the country’s crude oil revenue that comes into the consolidated fund as well as other tax and non-tax revenues that equally comes into the fund.
He described the policy as the “single largest social intervention under the fourth republic”, and expressed the belief that “the policy will strengthen the ailing financial health of the NHIS and afford the scheme and opportunity to pay debts owed service providers”.
“In Ghana, so far, the NHIS does not even cover 40 per cent of the population. Between 2017-2019 – the NHIS recorded an increase of 0.8 per cent in coverage over the three year period.
“If you contrast this with the estimated 6.6 per cent increase in the population of Ghana over the same period, you will understand why the NPP’s promise in this election to use the NHIS to achieve the SDG3, Health for All Ghanaians, within the next nine years cannot be trusted and must be rejected by the electorate,” he said.
Dr. Boamah said that the policy will, among others, eliminate out of pocket payments, reduce long waiting time at health facilities and make the NHIS better.
“To reduce long waiting times at health facilities, patients will have tests, blood glucose level done at accredited local pharmacies or drug stores at a fee to be paid by government.
This will diversify the range of services that pharmacy and drug shops offer and create more jobs,” he explained.
He said the policy will also decrease pressure on secondary, tertiary and quaternary healthcare facilities, including addressing the dreaded ‘ No bed syndrome’.
Dr. Boamah said that the policy will reintegrate E-health to facilitate primary health care delivery and save cost.
“With free primary health care, nobody – we mean no Ghanaian – will pay a pesewa at any primary health care facility when he or she is attended to,” he emphasised.
Other health policies
On other health policies in NDC’s Election 2020 manifesto, Dr. Boamah said, among others, the NDC will, establish a housing scheme for health workers, implement tax waivers to assist health workers acquire vehicles and employ the backlog of all unemployed qualified health professionals.