Include Private sector in Healthcare Delivery to solve Health Crisis – MP

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The Member of Parliament (MP) for the Binduri Constituency in Upper East Region, Dr Robert Baba Kuganab-Lem who doubles as the Deputy Ranking a Member of the Health Committee of Parliament has called on the government to consider Public Private Partnership (PPP) in healthcare delivery in Ghana to solve the current health delivery crisis that is being witnessed.

Dr Kuganab-Lem noted that a PPP agenda should include training of health professionals for the purposes of satisfying local and external private markets, Healthcare entrepreneurship should be included in curriculum of health training courses and must be an examinable course of study so that future graduates have a good sense of what it means to create one’s own job.

According to the Binduri Lawmaker, the current situation of the country’s health care system point to the fact that government alone cannot provide quality health care delivery to the citizenry.

In an exclusive interview with Today, after he presented a statement on the floor of Parliament, Dr Kuganab-Lem, explained that the Sustainable Development Goal 3 mandates governments to particularly reduce maternal mortality ratio, prevent deaths of new-borns and children under five, end epidemics and reduce by one third preventive mortality for non-communicable diseases but this he said  cannot be achieve without the private sector participation.

He maintained that the country’s health delivery system today is on its knees and all indicators points to the facts that things are rather getting worse.

This he said calls for immediate steps to resuscitate the dying health system which includes PPP.

The MP also call for retooling of health institutions which he believes will be a perfect model to combat health problems in the country.

Dr Kuganab-Lem  insisted that PPP in health care delivery is the surest way of reducing the heavy burden on government in health care delivery.

For him government should put in good strategies to partner the private individuals and institutions to set up private hospitals by way of giving soft loan facilities to them.

The Binduri MP revealed that an amount of $2million should be made available to all Teaching Hospitals, $ 1 million each to Regional Hospitals and $ 500,000 to each District Hospital to address the current health crisis.

This amount which he termed as bailout, would be used to create emergency facilities or renovate some spaces to cater for emergency cases or serve as treatment centres.

Dr Kuganab-Lem also appealed to the government to pay monies owned health institutions by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) should be paid immediately as well as de-capping statutory funds going to the scheme.

Dr Kuganab-Lem said, “while doing this for the next six months of 2018, I propose that the next budget of 2019 should see a budget not less than 15% of the annual budget as espoused by ECOWAS to the health sector to retool our facilities so that there are fit for purpose.

“Besides, the medium to long term, it is imperative for the government to seriously consider PPP to enhance health care delivery.” The MP stressed.

He suggested that government partner private sector investors in the funding construction and operation of health facilities across the country.

“Public Private Partnership in the construction of ultra-modern hospitals is beneficial to resolving the issues of unemployment, congestion, and no bed syndrome”

The Deputy Ranking Member on Health Committee of Parliament, maintained that through the private sector partnership, government should provide consensual loans to entrepreneurs to construct and equip health facilities or facility a Build Operator Transfer (BOT) arrangement to increase investment in the health sector.

Private investments in Ambulance services should also be encouraged and facilitated. He suggested.

The availability of these facilities across the regions would not only lead to the provision of quality healthcare for the people of our country but also the employment of health practitioners and others.

Source: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH

Writer’s email: franklin.asare-donkor@todaygh.com

Pix: Dr Robert Baba Kuganab-Lem, MP for Binduru constituency.

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