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General News of Thursday, 18 October 2012

Source: Kojo Frimpong

Akufo-Addo Promises Free Healthcare and Free Education

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the 2012 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party says in addition to every child under the age of 18 gaining access to free quality education, his administration will offer all children free access to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), when the NPP is voted into office in the December polls.

In ensuring that every child has free access to the NHIS, Nana Addo explained that, parents will no longer have to be subscribers to the NHIS for their children to benefit, adding that “millions more of children will be covered by free healthcare.”

The NPP Presidential Candidate made this known on Wednesday, when he delivered a speech on the topic “Saving our Health Service, Keeping our People Healthy”, at the Sunyani Nurses Training College, at which he comprehensively outlined his health policy.

According to Nana Akufo-Addo, the NPP believes that “free quality education up to secondary level and affordable healthcare are essential for the healthy, educated workforce we need to transform the economy, create wealth and enhance the welfare and wellbeing of every Ghanaian.”

Nana Addo explained that the wealth of the nation depends on the health of its people, and to “transform Ghana, we have to be healthy, and our government has a duty to ensure that the most vulnerable have access to quality healthcare.”

Mindful, however, of NDC propaganda and distortions, particularly on his free SHS policy, and the anticipated NDC propaganda on his free NHIS for all children policy, Nana Akufo-Addo maintained that “the good people of this country know that this is something we should do, we can do, and we will do.”

The NPP flagbearer recalled how NDC MPs, including now President John Mahama, walked out of parliament and boycotted its proceedings when the law to bring the NHIS into fruition was being laid on the floor of the House, because of their opposition to its passage.

“But, when the programme was successful, they claimed falsely it was their idea and that they had a pilot scheme at Nkoranza. They don’t have the vision to deliver to the people of Ghana, so they try to rewrite history,” Nana Addo said.

Nana Addo continued, “The NDC now admits that the NHIS is preferable to the cash and carry system they were operating, but if you look at their performance managing the system, you have to doubt their sincerity. We must save our health system, and keep our people healthy.”

The NDC’s record in managing the NHIS, according to Nana Addo, has been abysmal and one can conclude that “either they do not really believe in a national health insurance system, and their advocacy of a one-time premium reinforces this perception; or they lack the competence to administer it.”

“We must save the NHIS now from the incompetent hands of the NDC,” he charged.

Nana Addo stated that the NPP has a record of care and achievement, as shown by the initiatives to expand health service coverage put in place by the Kufuor-led NPP administration.

“The next NPP government, God willing, will introduce comprehensive measures to tackle the fundamental problem of too many Ghanaians dying because they can’t get proper care. I want to see ambulances carrying the sick to the hospital for treatment and not turned into hearses.

“We will continue the policy started under President Kufuor to establish an efficient ambulance service well-coordinated with emergency care in the hospitals and nationwide to be sure when patients get to you, you can still help them,” he said.

Touching briefly on his free SHS policy, Nana Addo expressed disappointment about the hypocrisy of the NDC, who on one hand state that his free SHS policy is not feasible and yet, on another hand, NDC activists are going around in rural communities with President Mahama’s picture and saying “he is the person promising free SHS.”

“This is typical NDC duplicity. It appears that their capacity for deceit and double dealing is limitless,” Nana Addo said.

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