MoH initiates programme for enhanced health outcomes
The Ministry of Health has begun an initiative to ensure enhanced health outcomes in the country. It is also expected to accelerate the delivery of universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).
As part of the initiative, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) are holding a regional conference on health financing which is being attended by 30 African countries in Accra today.
The two-day meeting is being held on the fact that the National Health Insurance scheme, although yielding results, was still having some challenges in revenue mobilisation.
The conference will also focus on addressing inadequate health financing, low insurance coverage in sub-sahara Africa, high out of pocket health spending, access gaps and limited options for financing health care for the elderly.
At a press conference in Accra yesterday ahead of the opening of the conference, the Country Representative of WHO, Prof. Francis Kasolo, said a key aspect of UHC was financing.
“Minimal cost aspect of the definition of UHC is critical, and this is where health financing and health insurance come in.
We should move towards systems where people have access to quality healthcare services without paying unreasonable amounts.
“Also some of you will know that heads of states agreed at the Abuja Declaration to commit 15 per cent of their national budgets on health.
“Most countries have not achieved this, partly because the resource cake from which governments are supposed to fund health was limited,” he said.
Prof. Kasolo said that was the reason why having a health insurance policy was important because it supplemented government budget by raising additional resources.
He said a knowledge sharing platform in the form of a high-level meeting on health financing was to enable participating countries to learn from regional best practices in tackling inequalities in their respective health systems and also explore new opportunities to advance the agenda of primary healthcare reforms.
Sharing of best practices
Prof. Kasolo expressed the hope that the participants, who are also running one type of health insurance scheme or the other, would discuss issues passionately and also share ideas of best practices to be employed by their respective countries to increase resources for health financing.
“We hope that the country will also share its experiences with other participating countries on how they have sustained their operations,” he said.
The Chairman of the planning committee of the high-level meeting, who is also the Director, Innovations and Projects at the NHIA, Raphael Segkpeb, said virtual pre-conference deliberations had started to build the capacity of the NHIA staff.
He said there would be roundtable discussions, plenary sessions and knowledge sharing sessions, among others, at the meeting.