The Ministry of Health and its development partners last Friday signed a memorandum summarising proposals to help address issues of equity and quality in the provision of healthcare services in the country.
It was premised on decisions arrived at during a 3-day health summit held in Accra recently on the theme, “Ghana’s movement towards universal health coverage (UHC).”
The summit had reviewed the sector’s performance for the year 2018 and highlighted areas that needed attention for advancing healthcare coverage in the country.
The sector Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu and Senior Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Ozawa Maki, signed on behalf of government and the development partners respectively.
Speaking at the brief ceremony, Mr Agyeman-Manu feared his outfit may not be able to effectively follow through recommendations made in the aide memoire due to budgetary constraints.
“The timing of this signing of the aide memoire does not align very well with our budget cycle and therefore poses challenges for us when it comes to implementing the recommendations,” he stated.
According to the minister, his ministry had plans to “revisit the primary healthcare concept holistically” through a grass root approach; right from the communities, sub-district and district level to ensure functionality at all levels.
He also mentioned progress made towards Ghana’s UHC roadmap which he said would involve inputs from other ministries and relevant agencies “so we can collectively work towards improving the health of our population.
“We plan to make multi-sectoral collaboration real and from next year, we plan to have other sectors play more significant roles in our annual health summits,” he maintained.
Mr Agyeman-Manu to this end courted the support of the development partners to deliver on provisions of the aide memoire, pledging the ministry’s commitment to “work with all other stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of appropriate interventions towards attaining UHC in Ghana.”
Madam Maki on behalf of the health partners acknowledged progress made in some aspects of the country’s health service delivery, particularly in maternal and child health indicators.
She commended efforts by the ministry in developing the UHC roadmap in indicating the willingness of development partners to continue supporting the health processes to achieve targets in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
The memoir among others resolved that the ministry took immediate steps to review its primary healthcare packages, including financing and possible provider payment reforms while recalibrating Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) to suit various settings.
It also asked that an institutional framework for public health emergency centre and or Ghana Centre for Disease Control should be developed by December 2019 as the ministry took steps to migrate donor funds to GIFMIS by end of November 2019.
By Abigail Annoh