Ghana on Friday joined the world to commemorate the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day on the theme “Health for all, protect everyone”.
The day is to raise awareness on the need for strong, equitable and resilient health systems where everyone everywhere could access quality healthcare without financial constraints.
In a speech to mark the occasion, Minister of Health (MOH), Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, indicated that Ghana, as part of its roadmap to achieving UHC, had adopted its definition as “all people in Ghana having timely access to high quality health services irrespective of ability to pay at the point of use.”
He said the UHC strategic plan (2020-2030), would serve as a catalyst to shaping the country’s health sector through efficient mobilisation of resources and leveraging on partnerships for long term benefits.
According to the Minister, the roadmap was hinged on three key objectives including increasing access to a better managed and high quality primary health system, reducing avoidable maternal, adolescent and child deaths while increasing access to responsive clinical and public health emergency services.
Mr Agyeman-Manu said already, the Ministry has rolled out interventions including reforming the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and introducing an electronic medical records system in all teaching hospitals across the country which would be scaled up to regional and district hospitals.
He said government, under its second term in office, would among others, focus on ensuring that health services were safe and sensitive to the needs of women and disadvantaged population while building capacity of health workers to deliver quality services.
“We will be committed to ensuring that health information systems are effective and provide reliable information on health indicators for decision making and also ensure the prudent use of internally generated funds (IGF) while we finalise the IGF guidelines for the sector.”
The re-elected Dormaa Central Member of Parliament assured of transparency, efficiency and accountability of public financial management systems “with good links between planning, budgeting and allocation of resources to relevant areas of the health system.”
“We will ensure a strong and responsible leadership and governance to oversee that the health system is performing to the desired effects and impact and we will ensure we stay focused to achieving these plans through advocacy and increased budget allocation for their implementation,” he added.
Expounding Ghana’s UHC roadmap, Director of Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation of the Ministry of Health, Dr Emmanuel Odame, expressed the hope that by 2030 all health facilities would be equipped to provide curative, preventive, promotive, rehabilitative, palliative, emergency and mental health services.
“The delivery of healthcare cannot be business as usual as it requires a redesign and review of the current health architecture and this is what we seek to achieve under this new roadmap,” he said.
In a speech read on her behalf, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Director, Dr Neema Kimambo commended Ghana for developing a roadmap for UHC and expressed WHO’s commitment to help attain the set goals and leave no one behind.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH
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