General News of Monday, 21 October 2019
Former President John Dramani Mahama says the next National Democratic Congress (NDC) government will propose a new source of funding for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The NDC flagbearer said the current capping and realignment law is not helping matters because the Scheme’s monies are taken away, and this makes it difficult for its mandate to be fulfilled.
“We are also proposing sources of funding for the [National] Health Insurance [Scheme].”
“The health insurance as it was designed was to cover a period of ten years. We have gone far past that number of years and the subscriber base has increased phenomenally and the funding sources have become insufficient to sustain the health insurance, and so looking at new sources of funding for health insurance will be important.”
Mr. Mahama made this known on Monday, October 21 when he met with executives of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) in Accra.
The former president also said there are several abandoned health projects across the country and assured the Association he is committed to aggressively completing them when given the nod again as president in order to ensure Ghanaians have better access to health care.
“We talked about operationalizing projects that have been completed but are standing idle like the University of Ghana Medical Centre, the Bank Hospital, the Wa Hospital and several other projects that have been commissioned but are still not operationalised.”
On the distribution of medical personnel across the country, Mr. Mahama said the situation was appalling as the doctor to patient ratio in some parts of the country is ‘abysmal’; as a result a lot more people are deprived of access to quality health care.
He also stressed the need for private participation in the health sector to help in expanding medical care since government alone cannot provide health care for all by 2030 as stated in the SDG Goal 3.
The President of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Frank Ankobea, said the meeting with the former president and the NDC team was a “fruitful and encouraging” discussion.
“We probably would have to meet some groups of the NDC and then still go down to some other health policies that they have.”
The GMA President said the meeting was “apolitical” as discussions were centered on the health of the Ghanaian.
The NDC has been embarking on what it calls ”ongoing interactive project”.
Mahama to campaign on ‘bottom-up’ manifesto
According to the party, it is preparing to write its 2020 manifesto, hence the decision to reason to solicit views from professional and religions bodies as well as from a cross section of the public.
This, they believe, would help them implement the right policies when the party assumes office again.