MANIFESTO WATCH: NPP’S FOR HEALTH CARE.
Premised on the fact that the health system in the country is critical for national development, the vision of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is to see to it that the right to health for all Ghanaians is guaranteed through an established health sector with sustainable ability to deliver affordable, equitable and easily accessible health care.
The NPP’s resolve to strengthen the health system, according to its manifesto, will be guided by seven principles which are:
Ensuring and mainstreaming a Health-in-All Policy approach with government agencies taking into account the health implications of their work programmes;
Ensuring a one-health approach with health initiatives that mitigate the exposure of risk by the interaction of humans, animals and the environment;
Ensuring gender sensitive and gender responsive health system with a special focus on the health needs of women and children;
Addressing health disparities in allocating resources and motivating health workers;
Increasing health financing;
Expanding primary health care with respect to reach, quality and presence of skilled personnel; and
Focusing on the social determinants of health.
Restructuring the NHIS
To ensure that Ghana becomes a healthy nation, the NPP will rescue and restructure the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
It is the contention of the NPP that the NHIS has collapsed over the past eight years under the watch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
“The next NPP government will revive the National Health Insurance Scheme to make it efficient, with capacity to finance health services on a timely basis in a bid to achieve universal health coverage for all Ghanaians”, the manifesto said.
That, it said, would be done by reviewing and restructuring the sources of funding, as well as the institutional arrangements for the management of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), increasing budgetary allocations to the NHIS, directing and strictly ceding all funds raised through the NHIA Levy into the NHIF and concentrating on activities that focus on quality patient treatment, medication and care.
Using best technology
Also, the NPP plans on utilising the best in technology and health insurance management protocols to tackle waste, corruption and insurance claim fraud under the NHIS.
That, it said, would include completely phasing out the manual processing of claims (claims management) which currently stands at about 90 per cent, tightly linking services and drugs to hospital attendance, and treatment to diagnosis, adopting a modernised strategy towards drugs procurement, including the establishment of a preferred pharmacy network, incentivising appropriate prescriptions, and gradually shifting away from the Central Medical Stores arrangement and emphasising preventive healthcare.
The NPP, the manifesto said, would address the disparities in the health sector by supporting the manpower needs of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and the overall healthcare sector by investing in the expansion and equipping of medical schools to train more medical doctors, restoring trainee nurses allowances in full, streamlining the operations of and improving health-training institutions, providing free specialist postgraduate training in established postgraduate training institutions and restoring and streamlining tax reliefs (abolished by the NDC government) which facilitated the purchase of vehicles by healthcare workers under the Kufuor government.
Policy on Cancer
The NPP, according to its manifesto, recognises the increasing incidence of cancers (childhood cancers, breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate and other cancers) as a national problem.
In this regard, the NPP will establish centres at all levels of our healthcare delivery system for screening and diagnosis for early detection and prevention of these cancers and this will be paid for under the restructured and revitalised NHIS.
BY VICTOR KWAWUKUME.
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