In a build up to Ghana’s 2016 elections, 3news.com is serializing aspects of the manifestos of the leading political parties – the ruling National Democratic Congress and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
We kick off our maiden edition with a focus on Health:
The NDC on Health
Ghanaians are living longer and healthier lives. Ghana’s life expectancy at birth increased from 60 years in 2008 to 63 years by 2013.
Ghana’s current Life Expectancy at birth is higher than Nigeria’s (55 years), Cote d’Ivoire’s (51.5 years) as well as the sub-Sahara Africa average (56.8 years).
Infant, Child and Maternal mortality rates are all on a downward trend.
In our 2012 Manifesto, we committed ourselves to delivering a better and improved healthcare system. Resulting from the strategic investments made by the NDC Government, we achieved our target and we are working to improve on the gains. We give credit to the ingenuity and responsiveness of health workers for effective prevention, management and control of diseases, improved health conditions and better quality of life of citizens.
We have achieved the following in the health sector:
• Established the National Ambulance Service Training School;
• Trained over 500 Emergency Medical Technicians;
• Increased the number of Health TrainingInstitutions to 95 in 2015;
• Increased the number of Licensed Midwives from 500 in 2009 to over 2,000 in 2015.
• Expansion of 400-bed Tamale Teaching Hospital to an 800-bed facility;
• Construction of 617-bed University of Ghana
• Construction of new modern Emergency Department for the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital;
• Refurbishment of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for the Department of Surgery at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital;
• Refurbishment of the Operating Theatre at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital;
• Completion of the Eye Care Centre at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi.
• Commencement of construction of 500-bed Military Hospital in KumasI;
• Renovation and expansion of 104-bed Police Hospital in Accra;
• Construction of 130-bed Maritime Hospital in Tema.
• Upgrading and expansion of Greater Accra Regional Hospital at Ridge in Accra to 620-bed capacity;
• Construction of 250-bed Ashanti RegionalHospital at Sewua;
• Continuation of the construction of the Upper West Regional Hospital, Wa.
• Design, construction and equipping of six 120-bed District Hospitals with an integrated
IT system at Dodowa, Fomena, Abetifi, Garu- Tempane, Kumawu and Sekondi;
• Upgrading of the Takoradi hospital;
• Expansion of the Bolgatanga hospital into a 386-bed facility;
• Design, construction and equipping of 60-bed
District Hospitals for five district capitals
– Salaga, Tepa, Nsawkaw, Twifo-Praso and Konongo-Odumasi;
• Construction of a 100-bed Madina Hospital in the Greater Accra Region;
• Initiation of processes for the commencement of five District Hospitals at Somanya, Buipe, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba, Tolon and Wheta.
The following have been completed and are currently operational:
• Five (5) Polyclinics in the Upper West Region at Wechau, Babile, Lambussie, Ko and Han;
• Five (5) Polyclinics in the Northern Region at Kpandai, Tatale, Janga, Chereponi and Karaga;
• Five (5) Polyclinics in the Western Region at Wassa Dunkwa, Bogoso, Nsuaem, Mpohor and Elubo;
• Five (5) Polyclinics in the Brong Ahafo Region at Nkrankwanta, Wamfie, Kwatire, Techimantia and Bomaa.
Work is commencing on the construction of 16 more polyclinics as follows:
• Five (5) Polyclinics in the Greater Accra Region at Adenta, Ashaiman, Bortianor, Oduman and Sege;
• Ten (10) Polyclinics in the Central Region at Bisease, Gomoa Dawurampong, Binpong
Akunfude, Etsii Sunkwa, Asikuma Gyamena, Agona Duakwa, Biriwa, Ekumfi Narkwa, Twifo Atimokwa and Gomoa Potsin;
• One (1) Polyclinic at Bamboi. Additional 20 Polyclinics will be constructed in Ashanti, Volta, Eastern and Upper East Regions.
We have constructed 18 Health Centres across the country.
We have completed over 1,200 CHPS Compounds and an additional 1,600 are under construction.
• Reduced annual AIDS deaths by 43%;
• Achieved over 50% reduction in transmission of HIV from mother-to-child;
• Provided PMTCT (Preventing Mother to Child Transmission) services to 81% of pregnant women;
• Treated 66% of infected pregnant women to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV;
• Reduced drastically the prevalence of HIV among exposed babies to 8% at birth and 21% after breastfeeding down from 32%.
National Medical Equipment Replacement Programme We have provided and supplied critical diagnostic and treatment equipment such as MRI machines, CT scan, fluoroscopy machine, x-ray machines, digital mammography machines, oxygen plants and ambulances to over 150 hospitals across the country.
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)
• Increased the out-patient utilisation of the NHIS from 9.3 million in 2008 to 29.6 million in 2015;
• Increased claims payment from GH¢18
3 Million in 2008 to GH¢1,073 billion in 2014;
• Established new Claims Processing Centres at Tamale, Cape Coast and Kumasi to decentralise and expedite processing of claims by service providers;
• Introduced e-Claims to deal with logistic challenges and reduce physical paper claims.
Accident and Trauma Centre We have conducted preparatory work for the establishment of an Accident and Emergency Hospital at Buipe to cater for emergency and accident victims in the northern part of the central spine arterial road network.
In our next term, we will undertake the following:
• Diversify the sources of funding for the NHIS by allocating an approved percentage of the ABFA from our Petroleum Revenue;
• Continue to prioritise access, equity, affordability and reliability of health services;
• Reduce the incidence of malaria by 50%;
• Reduce cases of maternal and neonatal deaths by a further 50%;
• Create more spaces for maternal and neonatal care in existing health facilities;
• Reduce further mother to child HIV transmission;
• Motivate health workers by ensuring appropriate and rewarding conditions of service that respond to changing trends in healthcare;
• Increase supply and fair distribution of health personnel across the country;
• Scale up the implementation of e-Health systems piloted in Korle-bu, Wa and Zebila hospitals to all secondary and tertiary hospitals;
• Ensure strict compliance with data protection laws of the country to protect the medical records and the privacy of patients;
• Complete ongoing Regional Hospitals in Ashanti and Upper West regions;
• Complete construction of regional hospitals in Upper East, Eastern and Western Regions;
• Undertake a comprehensive upgrade of the Tema General Hospital;
THE NPP ON HEALTH:
NPP’s seven principles on health:
Ensuring and mainstreaming a Health-in-All Policy approach with government agencies taking into account the health implications of their work programmes;
Ensuring a one-health approach with health initiatives that mitigate the exposure of risk by the interaction of humans, animals and the environment;
Ensuring gender sensitive and gender responsive health system with a special focus on the health needs of women and children;
Addressing health disparities in allocating resources and motivating health workers;
Increasing health financing;
Expanding primary health care with respect to reach, quality and presence of skilled personnel; and
Focusing on the social determinants of health.
Restructuring the NHIS
To ensure that Ghana becomes a healthy nation, the NPP will rescue and restructure the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
It is the contention of the NPP that the NHIS has collapsed over the past eight years under the watch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
“The next NPP government will revive the National Health Insurance Scheme to make it efficient, with capacity to finance health services on a timely basis in a bid to achieve universal health coverage for all Ghanaians”.
That, it said, would be done by reviewing and restructuring the sources of funding, as well as the institutional arrangements for the management of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), increasing budgetary allocations to the NHIS, directing and strictly ceding all funds raised through the NHIA Levy into the NHIF and concentrating on activities that focus on quality patient treatment, medication and care.
Using best technology
Also, the NPP plans on utilising the best in technology and health insurance management protocols to tackle waste, corruption and insurance claim fraud under the NHIS.
That, it said, would include completely phasing out the manual processing of claims (claims management) which currently stands at about 90 per cent, tightly linking services and drugs to hospital attendance, and treatment to diagnosis, adopting a modernised strategy towards drugs procurement, including the establishment of a preferred pharmacy network, incentivising appropriate prescriptions, and gradually shifting away from the Central Medical Stores arrangement and emphasising preventive healthcare.
The NPP would address the disparities in the health sector by supporting the manpower needs of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and the overall healthcare sector by investing in the expansion and equipping of medical schools to train more medical doctors, restoring trainee nurses allowances in full, streamlining the operations of and improving health-training institutions, providing free specialist postgraduate training in established postgraduate training institutions and restoring and streamlining tax reliefs (abolished by the NDC government) which facilitated the purchase of vehicles by healthcare workers under the Kufuor government.
Policy on Cancer
The NPP recognises the increasing incidence of cancers (childhood cancers, breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate and other cancers) as a national problem.
In this regard, the NPP will establish centres at all levels of our healthcare delivery system for screening and diagnosis for early detection and prevention of these cancers and this will be paid for under the restructured and revitalised NHIS.