The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) on Monday met with representatives of political parties at a roundtable meeting to discuss findings of a research conducted by the Commission on the expectations of electorate on issues bothering on health.
The NCCE in its mandate to educate the public on issues of national importance conducted a research to find out about the development needs of the Ghanaian public and their expectations of how these issues would be resolved by politicians in their various manifestoes.
Mrs Gertrude Zakariah-Ali, Director, Gender Research, NCCE, who presented the findings, explained that out of the many areas considered, education and health dominated by 70.7 per cent and 59 per cent respectively.
The report shows that all categories of age groups, which ranged from 18 and above placed premium on health and the issue was even high among people aged 40 and above because of the health challenges associated with aging.
Mrs Zakariah-Ali said some of the issues outlined by the public included their demand for the construction and adequately equipping them for quality service delivery, while embarking on public health education nationwide.
She said the electorate demanded that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) premium be reduced, while making it fully operationalised to cover all sicknesses and drugs and also training more health professionals with well remuneration.
Representatives from the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Convention People’s Party (CPP), Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and the Great Consolidated People’s Party (GCPP), debated the various issues and concerns raised in the report, citing chapters in their respective party manifestoes that address some of the issues.
Professor Kofi Agyeman Badu Akosa, representative of the CPP, argued against the politicization of issues on education and health, and advocated for a well structured national system to serve as a knowledge pool and guide for political parties to borrow from.
He also indicated that quality health should not be limited to infrastructure development alone, but must involve multiple areas of critical concern such as good nutrition, clean environment, availability of drugs, water as well as proper roads to prevent accidents among other things.
He said the CPP believed in emphasis on primary health care delivery system where health care is based on community health care system of the Community-Based Health Planning Services (CHPS).
Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, who represented the NPP, urged Ghanaians to be disciplined and ensure that their environments were free from filth, arguing that no country could develop in filth.
He contended against the fact that Ghana could achieve any meaningful development with its present method of agriculture, which has lead to further entrenchment of poverty and diseases among the rural poor.
“We need a complete transformation from old ways of localized production”, he said.
He said the NPP manifesto already addressed most of the issues raised and would ensure their full implementation when the party is voted into power.
Dr Prince Omane Boamah, who represented the NDC, agreed that development should be planned to ensure quality service delivery.
He said the NDC government had introduced several policies and programmes that were tailored towards quality health care delivery and would do more if given the nod by electorates to continue its good works.