Lets have a free health care system – Coalition

Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Health, on Tuesday called on the Government to ensure a free health care system in the country.

”The NHIS  rather favour the rich and workers in the formal sector since it is claimed that their money is being deducted through the SNNIT system leaving those outside to suffer as they cannot access the health facilities”.

The Vice Chairman of the Upper East Chapter  of the Coalition, Mr Noble Alagskomah Asekeya, had led members of the Coalition on a route march through the Bolgatanga Municipality to  back their campaign for a free national health care system.

He expressed dismay that Ghana after gaining independence for 55 years, could not offer free health care to its citizens.

According to him, despite the introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) majority of Ghanaians especially, those who are not working in the formal sector and the marginalised cannot afford to pay to register or to renew their NHIS because of poverty.

He stated that since many people cannot afford to pay for the NHIS or renew it, they often result to unorthodox means of treatment which have dangerous implications on their health.

Mr Asakeya stressed that health was a right issue which should not be treated  lightly but that all measures and ideas must be marshaled to make it accessible.

”Ghana has abundant resources and all that is needed are prudent measures to mobilise resources to cater for the health care needs of the citizenry particularly, the poorest”

He asked government to cut down on political appointments, reduce government budget for procuring vehicles and fuelling them and use what can be saved to fund vital social interventions such as health care.

The Vice Chairman of the Coalition also impressed upon the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, Civil Society Organizations, and the Media to step up public health education to curtail communicable diseases like cholera.

Mr Thomas Abagmbire, Secretary of the Collation in charge of the Region, lamented the leakages and the huge amounts spent on procuring logistics and remunerating staff of the NHIS which according to him was a sheer waste of resources.

He called for the establishment of a Health Fund just like the Ghana Education Trust Fund(GETfund) to cater for the proposed free healthcare to save the poor and the marginalized from preventable deaths.

’’The Poor and people working outside the formal sectors are now paying for the rich and those in the formal sector to benefit and this should be stopped’’

Source: GNA

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