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Health News of Sunday, 1 March 2015

Source: Public Agenda

Comment: More room for improvement in the health sector

Thursday, February 26, 2015, President John Dramani Mahama was in Parliament to deliver a message on the State of the Nation as required by article 67 of the 1992 Constitution.

By his conduct, President Mahama has upheld the Constitutional provision, and we urge all duty bearers to take a cue from his example as it is in consonance with the Directive Principles of State Policy of Chapter Six of the Constitution.

In the address, the President disclosed that Government has pumped about three billion cedis into the provision of modern hospitals and the upgrading of facilities. Some of the facilities include the construction a 500-bed military hospital in Kumasi and 15 polyclinics in the Greater Accra and Central regions.

About 150 hospitals will also be upgraded and given modern diagnostic equipment. “Work is at various stages of completion on 13 district hospitals to bring health services closer to our people,” he stated.

President Mahama also added, “We have also completed and commissioned for use, three district hospitals in Edjumako, Essam and Zabzugu, and 19 Health Centres.”

These are clear indications that Government is determined to take the bull by the horns in dealing with the huge health delivery deficit confronting the nation. But whilst these strides are being made, Public Agenda calls on the Government to take pragmatic measures to address challenges confronting the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Times without number, many of the service providers have complained about non-payment of their bills; hence their decision to withdraw their services. The NHIS is a laudable and effective social intervention which should not be allowed to collapse because it is a reliable succor for the financially disadvantaged sections of our society.

Again Government, through the Ministry of Health, must work towards improving the living conditions of doctors in the rural areas.

Many doctors decline posting to these areas due to lack of basic facilities needed to make life for them and their families comfortable.

We, therefore, urge the Government to adopt a holistic approach to solving the problems of the health sector.

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