Dr Ama Pokuaa Fenny, a Research Fellow, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), has expressed concerns about the failure of politicians and political parties to provide clear strategies and direction for financing their manifesto promises.
She, therefore, asked Ghanaians not to vote for political parties or politicians based on juicy electoral promises but should demand how those promises would be financed when given the mandate to govern the country.
Dr Fenny told the media on Saturday when analysing the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) manifestoes.
Dr Fenny lauded the NDC’s promise of providing free primary healthcare when voted back to power in the December 7 Election.
She, however, expressed disappointment that the Party failed to provide clear direction on sources of funding for implementing the policy.
She expressed the fear that, if care is not taken the implementation of the policy could rather collapse the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and return the nation to the era of the obnoxious ‘Cash and Carry’ system.
Economists and health experts have envisaged that Ghana would require about seven billion Ghana cedis to implement free primary healthcare per year for a population of 31 million.
They also projected that the COVID-19 pandemic would result in shortfalls or deficit in government’s revenue, therefore citizens must ask critical questions when politicians and political parties are making juicy promises.
Dr Fenny also lauded the NPP’s promise of ensuing health promotion and prevention, but suggested that the private health facilities should be well integrated in the delivery of health services in the country.
She lauded the efforts by the government to digitise health administration and believed it would go a long way to enhance healthcare in the country.
Dr Fenny said the NPP promise of constructing district hospitals in 88 districts was good and timely, but there should be plans to train sufficient health personnel, coupled with the provision of medical equipment and supplies to make the health facilities efficient.
On NDC’s promise of increasing the maternity leave of female workers from three to four months, Dr Fenny lauded the move but cautioned that such a policy could affect female employment, especially in the private sector.
She, therefore, called for proper supervision so that the policy does not adversely impact on female employment.