The Universal Access to Healthcare Campaign (UAHC), a non-governmental organisation in health, has urged government to redesign the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to focus more on promoting quality health and prevention of degenerative diseases rather than the treatment of degenerative diseases when they arise.
According to the NGO, the promotion of quality health through sanitation, nutrition and exercise would save the scheme huge sums spent on treating various degenerative diseases as well as solving the numerous issues of re-imbursement that has bedeviled the scheme.
Archibald Adams, National Campaign Coordinator, UAHC, speaking at a workshop on NHIS to develop a responsive and equitable health system in Ghana added that “We want to promote primary healthcare and that is not just identification of sicknesses and treatment but rather a totality of what goes into healthcare such as sanitation, nutrition, exercise and the whole process being done in the community set ups”.
According to him, the scheme which covers only 41 percent of the Ghanaian population must be strengthened so that the 51percent left can have confidence to enrol on the scheme.
He further called on government to clear the debt owed by the scheme, and find ways of financing the scheme as it promised in its manifesto prior to the 2016 general elections.
The workshop was to upgrade participants and stakeholders knowledge on primary healthcare and the improvement in the performance of the NHIS to ensure client satisfaction.
The organization, which advocates for health services for women and youth, has identified a concept known as Primary Health Care (PHC) as the key strategy to achieve universal healthcare.
A Public Health Consultant, Dr George Amofa, on his part, recommends improvement in the areas of media engagement, networking, communication, client-centeredness, service management and other exemptions in the scheme.
The media, he said, is an important partner and must therefore help in promoting good health, the same way it is doing with the ‘galamsey’ menace.
That, according to him, would ensure that the poor in society could access healthcare without suffering any financial hardship.
Dr Amofa called on all Municipal and Metropolitan Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and stakeholders in the health sector to adopt health care based on practical, scientific, and socially acceptable methods that is also made universally accessible to communities and at a cost the country and community can afford.