CSOs demand realistic budget for health

Some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the north have called on the government to ensure that budgetary allocations to the health sector are realistic and focused on completing ongoing work on health facilities.

CSOs argued that because of political considerations, various governments initiated the construction of new health facilities whiles old ones remained uncompleted and they eventually ended up completing none, a situation, which deprived the citizenry of deriving maximum benefits from such projects.

They made the call at a meeting in Tamale to discuss gaps in the 2019 budget statement for the health sector and develop a communiqué highlighting priority areas for consideration in the 2019 appropriation bill.

It was organised by the Universal Access to Health Care Campaign (UAHCC), a CSO, and other participating CSOs included Integrated Social Development Centre, NORSAAC, BasicNeeds Ghana, USAID Systems for Health, and media practitioners.

Public institutions represented at the meeting included the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) and the Ghana Health Service.

The CSOs also called on government to increase the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) to the Ministry of Health to help address critical needs of the health sector.

On health insurance, they called on government to find a sustainable source of funding for the NHIA and avoid a taxation system that would place the burden of health financing on the citizenry.

Whiles rejecting NHIA’s proposals to be granted prosecutorial powers to prosecute fraud perpetrated on the National Health Insurance Scheme, the CSOs suggested that the Attorney General’s Department be strengthened to promptly prosecute persons engaged in fraudulent activities on the scheme.

They also called on government to strengthen the Food and Drugs Authority and the Ghana Standards Authority to help address the influx of fake drugs into the country.

Nii Ankonu Annorbah-Sarpei, Campaign Coordinator of UAHCC, said the issues raised at the meeting would be compiled and presented to government to help improve health care delivery in the country.

Source: GNA

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