A committee set up to review the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), as part of its recommendations suggested to government to provide Primary Health Care for all Ghanaians.
The free primary health care would be provided to all Ghanaians in all health facilities across the country.
The committee, chaired by Dr. Chris Atim, made the recommendation, among others, as part of efforts, to streamline the operations of the NHIS.
The Ghanaian Times would like to focus on the free primary health care even though other very important recommendations, such as guaranteed maternal and child health care are on the table.
Although these are very important recommendations, we have observed rather sadly that little attention is being paid to it.
We are of the view that the recommendations; however good they are, must be subjected to public debate to fine-tune it and the public made aware of it.
As a matter of fact, the committee made very interesting observations that is lost on Ghanaians and which is refreshing.
It explained that, it should be possible for all Ghanaians to benefit from universal primary health care because everyone contributes 2.5 Value Added Tax (VAT), which is an important source of funding for the NHIS.
In their view, that contribution collected from all Ghanaians “should be used to fund services that benefits the whole population and not only the majority.”
If the recommendation is accepted, according to the committee, it means that possession of NHIS card would no longer be necessary to access the proposed universal primary health care package.
We are excited about the recommendation of the committee which is forward looking and going to change the face of health care in the country.
We are however, disappointed that this laudable recommendation has not been placed at the centre of public discussion to solicit ideas that can enrich it before its implementation.
We commend the committee, and wish that the government and all stakeholders would embrace the recommendation,and fine-tune it for its acceptance.