A coalition of Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and other stakeholders in healthcare have staged a street march to present a petition on quality primary health care delivery in Agona West Municipality to Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE).
Among the NGOs that participated in the three-hour march on the streets of Agona Swedru were Universal Access to Health Care Campaign (UAHCC), the Alliance for Reproduction Health Rights and the Young and Lonely Foundation (YLF).
Some of the placards they carried read: ‘Our Health, Our Concern’, ‘Universal Health Coverage Day’, ‘Universal Access to Healthcare’, ‘Leaving no one behind, Let’s stand for our health’, and ‘Healthcare is a right’.
Mr Gilbert Kofi Germain, Chief Executive Officer of Young and Lonely Foundation, who presented the petition on behalf of the NGOs, said they were drawing government’s attention to its responsibility to deliver universal quality health care to all.
The petition said the United Nations Resolution on universal health coverage calls on governments of all countries to provide every person with affordable and quality health care as a human right.
It said the universal health coverage under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is critical in making long-term progress to ensure good health, wellbeing and prosperity for all.
It called on government to ensure that National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is sustained by implementing some of the proposals of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) including the full implementation of the electronic claims management to help improve efficiency and reduce fraud.
The petitioners asked for an amendment of NHIS laws to make a crime against the Scheme more punitive to serve as a deterrent to potential fraudsters and also called for re-designing of its financial model with a focus on increasing taxation on sugar, alcohol and tobacco companies to finance the health sector.
It called on government to finish all uncompleted health infrastructure projects by previous governments to ensure prompt delivery of health care and review the Scheme to incorporate family planning and mental health care services as part of the benefits packages to reduce the burden on relatives of patients.
Mrs Assan received the petition and assured them that the concerns raised would be addressed by government to help attain the SDGs on health.
The MCE said it is the policy of government to remove bottlenecks which impede the smooth implementation of primary health care to improve quality delivery.
She said the petition would be sent to the appropriate quarters for redress.