The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), which is seeking re-election after losing to NPP’s Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2016 election, has promised to implement a Free Primary Healthcare when elected to power in the upcoming elections on December 7,2020.The party flagbearer, former president John Dramani Mahama, first hinted this in August ahead of their manifesto launch last month.
The party has begun explaining how the health policy will be rolled out and how beneficial it will be to Ghanaians across the country.
The NDC’s spokesperson on health, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, who held a press conference on Thursday, 8th September, 2020, to clear misconceptions among Ghanaians tagged the Free Primary Healthcare as as the single largest social intervention under the Fourth Republic when implemented and assured that the NDC was poised to implementing the health policy.
Here is what you need to know about the policy;
1. Free Primary health Care will be the single largest social intervention under the Fourth Republic.
2. The Free Primary Health Care Plan will deliver preventive health, health promotion interventions and curative care, and seeks to provide quality health care for all Ghanaians at no cost to the individual.
3. The Free Primary Health Care Plan will be available in District hospitals, Polyclinics, Health Centres and Community Health Planning Services (CHPS) compounds for all Ghanaians regardless of their political affiliation, religion or tribe.
4. You will not need a National Health Insurance (NHIS) card to benefit from Free Primary Health Care.
5. The Free Primary Health Care Plan will minimise overall health care cost and increase quality-adjusted healthy years and life expectancy.
6. The policy wil also ensure adequate skill mix to guarantee accelerated economic growth; and decrease the pressure on secondary, tertiary and quaternary health care facilities, including addressing the dreaded “No bed syndrome.”
7. It will tackle health-seeking behaviours that are skewed more towards the curative rather than the preventive.
8. Free Primary Health Care Plan will be a drastic reduction in the over two (2) and half hours long waiting time, which overwhelms health workers, wastes the time of patients and their families.
9. Routine tests and reviews on chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, blood pressure, pulse rate, height, weight, temperature, oxygen saturation etc. can be performed remotely at accredited local Pharmacy or Drug stores as the case may be at a fee to be paid by Government.
10. The Free Primary Healthcare policy will connect patients with medical laboratories – both public and private – that can perform other invasive tests by using their mobile laboratory technicians.
11. With this enhanced health-seeking behaviour, diseases will be picked up early by health professionals and managed. This early detection of diseases due to Free Primary health Care will reduce medical complications which usually require in-patient care.
12. Free Primary Health Care Will Create Jobs such that additional health human resource such as Physician Assistants, Registered Nurses, Midwives, Community Health Nurses, Pharmacists, Doctors and Allied Health workers and other health entrepreneurs in the private sector will be enlisted to support their facilities to participate in the delivery of Free Primary Health Care to Ghanaians.
13. The Free Primary Health Care Plan will make the NHIS better because it will pay for primary care, preventive and promotive health.