Consortium of CSOs petitions government for equitable health systems

Kumasi A consortium of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), campaigning for improved universal access to quality healthcare in the country, has called for the government to up its spending on the health sector to ensure that people in deprived and rural communities have access to quality health care services.

It asked that the government acted quickly to promote a stronger and more equitable health system to achieve universal health coverage.

This was contained in a petition presented through the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) in Kumasi.

The CSOs are the Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights (ARHR), Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) and Rights and Responsibilities Initiatives Ghana (RRIG).

The petition, copied to the Ministries of Health and Finance, the Ghana Health Service and the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), was presented as part of activities to mark this year’s International Women’s Day celebration.

Madam Aba Oppong, Executive Director of RRIG, highlighted some of the issues raised in the petition, and said they wanted revenue from the national insurance levy separated from the consolidated fund and placed in an NHIA fund pool.

The present arrangement where members of the legislative arm of government receive statutory funds such as the Member of Parliament’s NHIS common fund, should be scrapped.

They are also urging the Ministry of Health to ensure that a minimum of 50 per cent of all total allocations to the health sector is spent on expenditure categories of capital expenditure and goods and services.

Additionally a primary health care policy needed to be put in place to strengthen primary health care processes and systems.

Again, all stalled health infrastructure projects including community-based health planning and services (CHPS) facilities should be completed.

The CSOs would want to see more transparency in the allocation, disbursement and utilization of annual budget funding amount (ABFA) earmarked for health projects at the district and community levels for citizens to track and monitor projects.

Madam Elizabeth Agyemang, Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, who received the petition on behalf of the government, pledged her support for an improved and equitable health systems to achieve the universal health coverage not only in the region but Ghana as a whole.

Source: Ghana News Agency