Aged health policy urgently needed – Barton-Oduro
Mr Ebo Barton-Odro, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Member of Parliament for Cape Coast North, has said the development of a relevant aged health policy to cater for the needs of the elderly population is of paramount importance.
He said care for the aged is important and must be taken seriously due to the increasing life expectancy of Ghanaians.
Mr Barton-Odro said this on Thursday when he commissioned an aged clinic at Eyifua, a suburb of Cape Coast.
The facility, established from his National Health Insurance Scheme allocated fund, is the second in the metropolis and would serve the elderly in Abura, Eyifua and its environs.
“In order to prepare for unexpected population ageing now, it is of utmost importance that health systems in developing countries such as Ghana prepare to address the consequences of these demographic trends”, he said.
He also called on the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to improve the attitudes, education and training of healthcare providers such that they could assist and treat conditions that afflict older persons.
The First Deputy Speaker, in 2013 when he was MP for the then Cape Coast Constituency, established the first aged clinic in Cape Coast and statistics so far show a massive patronage compared to attendance of the other medical facilities within the metropolis.
He said aged persons who visited the clinic in 2013 shot up from 5,977 to 8,616 in 2015 and this showed that there was pressure on the clinic.
The figures, he said, combined with the annual population increase in Ghana meant that care for the elderly was a subject which could not be ignored and measures should to be taken to help meet the needs of the elderly population.
Mr Barton-Odro said it was the duty of health workers to optimize opportunities for health to enhance the quality of life of the aging population.
Mr Samuel Sosi, Metropolitan Health Director, said such clinics would help the GHS and the Cape Coast Health Directorate to achieve their objective of providing quality community healthcare to the aged.
He expressed his gratitude to the MP for his contribution to complement the efforts of GHS towards the provision of accessible quality healthcare in the Metropolis.
Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, Omanhen of Oguaa Traditional Area, said the establishment of the aged clinic in Cape Coast by the MP was a step in the right direction and an indication that the needs of the increasingly aged population were being recognized by those in authority.