The main opposition National Democratic Congress says its promised free primary healthcare policy will create jobs and improve the quality of the National Health Insurance scheme.
According to former Communications Minister, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, the policy has been designed to positively impact on the existing health insurance scheme while creating avenues for the less privileged to acquire healthcare without money.
“Over and above the jobs to be created under the Free Primary health Care Plan stated, there is, also, excellent news for Physician Assistants, Registered Nurses, Midwives, Community Health Nurses, Pharmacists, Doctors and Allied Health workers and other health entrepreneurs. Free Primary Health Care will require additional health human resource – this heralds more jobs for the good people of Ghana. The Mahama led government will also enlist the services of private sector providers and support their facilities to participate in the delivery of Free Primary Health Care to Ghanaians,” Dr Omane Boamoah noted at a news conference Thursday.
He added: “the Free Primary Health Care Plan will make the NHIS better because it will pay for primary care, preventive and promotive health. Let me clarify once again that, a Ghanaian will not need a National Health Insurance (NHIS) card to benefit from Free Primary Health Care. Ladies and Gentlemen, this means, unlike the NHIS, you do not have to pay a premium to benefit from Free Primary Health Care. We believe this will strengthen the ailing financial health of the NHIS and afford the scheme an opportunity to pay debts owed service providers.
“Expert opinion suggests Health Insurance is insufficient to ensure universal health coverage. In Ghana, so far, the NHIS does not even cover 40% of the population. The facts. Between 2017 and 2019 – the NHIS recorded an increase of 0.8% in coverage over the three year period. If you contrast this with the estimated 6.6% increase in the Population of Ghana over the same period (2017 – 2019) you will understand why the NPP’s promise in this election to use the NHIS to achieve SDG3, Health for All Ghanaians, within the next nine (9) years cannot be trusted and must be rejected by the electorate”.