Madam Agnes Ganda, Northern Sector Programmes Coordinator of Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), who made the call during a validation meeting in Tamale, said district level health facilities were the first point of call for patients and increasing their staffing strength would enable them to effectively cope with the high number of patients.
The validation meeting was organised by the Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights (ARHR) as part of its Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) project, which is funded by STAR Ghana to ensure that GESI needs are systematically integrated in universal health coverage in the country.
Between September and November 2018, the ARHR used a participatory monitoring & evaluation approach to track progress of integration, implementation and impact of GESI actions in universal health coverage on vulnerable and socially excluded groups in three districts including; Agona East, Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem (KEEA) and South Dayi.
It was found that lack of information on National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS’) coverage, inability of the poor and indigenes to meet renewal and processing cost of NHIS cards, frequency of referrals, high cost of health care and privacy issues were main challenges.
Participants at the meeting, were to validate the findings of the participatory monitoring and evaluation and make inputs to enrich the document.
Madam Ganda said the current situation where many of the health facilities at the districts were without staff affected quality health care delivery and suggested that systems be strengthened to compel health workers to be punctual at work to attend to patients.
Mr Prosper Oye, Northern Regional Director of the Department of Social Welfare said his Office had deployed officers to the field to freely register indigenes under the National Health Insurance Scheme to enable them access health care.
Other participants suggested that more sensitisation be done on NHIS, to enable subscribers to demand quality and better health care at the facilities.
Madam Joyce Ami Amedoe, Programmes Development Manager of ARHR said the document would be fine-tuned and presented to Parliament to elicit policies to address the gaps identified.