The Member of Parliament for the Ledzokuku Constituency, Hon. Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye has revealed that, about Twenty Seven Thousand (27,000) nurses would be employed this year, with thirty two thousand (32,000) already given clearance.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament yesterday in relation to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of Universal Health care delivery, the lawmaker revealed that the government is continuing its human centered policy of clearing and absorbing the backlog of nurses who have not been employed for more than five years now, clearing the backlog to absorb everyone.
This follows series of demonstrations by trained nurses and health personnel in recent times who are protesting their unemployment status and successive government’s unpreparedness to absorb them.
He revealed that in order for Ghana to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of universal health care delivery, personnel is very important, for which matter the government is committed to improving the doctor and nurse to patient ratio.
Contributing to the debate on the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), the Member said, it is not enough to have only health facilities in striving to achieve universal health delivery, adding that well trained professionals are very paramount as well.
He also indicated that, the phenomenon of doctors refusing postage to the Northern region is as a result of lack of motivation, and that motivation is another key factor the government is working on.
He reiterated also that, universal health care delivery cannot be achieved without the active participation of the private sector.
Hon. Okoe Boye also indicated that, government alone on its own cannot carry all the burden of the health sector, hence the importance of private sector, for which the government has initiated conducive economic environment and policy interventions that inures to the interests of the private sector.
For that cause, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has been improved to help the otherwise disgruntled private health care facilities to stand on their feet to contribute their quota to health delivery and accessibility.
The universal health care, He said, is a right, and as policy makers must do everything possible to ensure that every Ghanaian has what it takes to access quality health care.
Adding that statistics shows Ghana is doing well in this area, and infant mortality rate as well as maternal mortality rate which are indicators key in assessing the performance of a country in this regard is favorable, except in the case of maternal mortality that the ration seems to be rising (from 216 mortality deaths per 100,000 women in the 90’s to 319 somewhere 2015).
The Member of Parliament for Binduri Constituency, Robert Baba Kuganab-Lem in making a statement on the floor to draw attention of the House as to why health delivery should be approached with bi-partisan approach, he wondered how many Ghanaians have access to good health care, adding that, this must be a primary concern to every policy maker.
On a day that both sides of the House agreed that the issue of the NHIS should be de-politicized, the lawmaker revealed further that in order to achieve the economic development we aspire as a country, it is important to attain universal health care for all.
He also disclosed that in 2015, Ghana achieved national health coverage of forty percent (40%), and that Ghana can achieve full nation wide coverage when government makes health care more accessible and affordable.
He also lamented the situation where doctors refuse postage to the Northern Regions, adding that this year, no doctor accepted posting to the area, and this according to him, is very worrisome.
“It is important that as a country, we work on the doctor and nurse to patient ration”. He added.
Hon Yileh Chireh, Member for Wa West also reminded policy makers that Ghana cannot have universal health care delivery, if the country do not have facilities to enable access, for which the NHIS was introduced to concentrate on primary health care delivery, in order for many people to get access to same.
He advised that it is time Parliament prepares itself to find antidote to bridging the health delivery gap.
Story: Frederick E. Aggrey