Dr Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira
AN ASSOCIATION of concerned health workers, Patients 1st, has expressed grave concern about the government’s failure to deliver quality and reliable healthcare to Ghanaians.
According to Patients 1st, healthcare delivery both at urban centres and rural communities in Ghana was at best, pitiful and at worst, completely non-existent.
In a press statement released on Tuesday and signed by Josephine Kwarteng, Mathew Owusu and Jefferson Asare Danquah – all members of Patient 1st, the group stressed that ‘as a whole, whether rural or urban, healthcare in Ghana is in a critical condition, plagued by many maladies.’
They complained among other things, about the current abysmal performance of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), bad road networks across the country which make it seemingly impossible for patients and health workers to speedily access health facilities and the high spate of corruption among individuals in-charge of disbursing monies meant for the provision of healthcare services.
‘In 2003, a laudable scheme, the National Health Insurance Scheme was launched. However, its efficient operability has been hampered by, among other things, long delays in provider reimbursement, fraud, abuse and delays in the issuing of registration cards,’ they cried.
They claimed that ‘the scheme now faces an imminent collapse should government fail to take immediate pragmatic steps to salvage it.’
In their opinion, ‘The fight against illness and disease is an ongoing perpetual fight; one in which doctors, nurses and other health professionals gallantly continue to remain at the forefront.’
They, however, lamented that ‘all the efforts by our gallant health professionals in this fight are being seriously undermined and compromised by the incompetence and ineptitude of the current government.’
Poor service delivery has been a major hallmark of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government which touts itself as a social democratic political party.
Government and for that matter all stakeholders, they cautioned, must begin to view the delivery of quality healthcare to all Ghanaians as a basic right and necessity regardless of their social or economic statuses.
They assured Ghanaians that they as health professionals would remain committed to offering their services ‘to ensure that we make the best out of the demoralising state of affairs.’
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