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50% of Ghanaians known to visit private healthcare providers

According to the Ghana Living Standard Survey 6 of 2014, more than 50 per cent of the country’s population seek healthcare from private practitioners.

“Private health practitioners continue to play major roles in the provision of healthcare in the country.”

This was contained in a communiqué issued by the Society of Private Medical and Dental Practitioners and signed by its President, Dr Isaac Morrison, at the end of the society’s 40th Annual General Meeting in Accra, on Sunday.

It said despite the success of the private sector, serving 50 per cent of the people, the society believes that the private practitioners could do more by setting up practices in many areas, provided the right incentives, motivation and recognition would be given to such facilities.

“Despite the existence of a framework for private public partnership, unfortunately this area has not been exploited fully, to better serve the health needs of the country, and that, government cannot do it alone and neither is it acceptable to continue to shore up capital and taxes to service the huge wage bill of only the public sector.”

It charged the Ministry of Health to clearly redefine the role and put the private sector in the strategic position that rightly belong to the sector to enable it to serve as the engine of growth in the health sector.

The communiqué urged the National Health Insurance Authority, as a matter of urgency, to engage stakeholders on issues of outstanding arrears, renegotiations on tariffs and other related issues.

“We, however, wish to emphasise that we as a society will  not condone any proven fraudulent practices, and we can no longer sit down unconcerned when the NHIA’s non –payments result in members facing the full brunt of the law with other state institutions”, the communiqué added.

The communiqué also urged the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation to use the internet to facilitate all their transactions, rather than asking practitioners to stop clinical practice and troop across the country to collect forms.

The communiqué also appealed to the Ministry of Health to actively promote and institutionalize the public private partnership to provide some solutions to the no-bed syndrome being experienced in the country.

It urged all healthcare practitioners to develop some emotional intelligence and strive to show empathy, self-control and have better listening skills for patients.

Source: GNA

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