In spite of some progress in the health sector, Ghanaians in some parts of the country still have unaddressed health needs.
These include lack of health personnel, and lack of access to water and electricity.
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working in the area of Primary Health Care and Universal Health Coverage said this at a forum in Accra to identify areas of interest and concern to be incorporated into the 2023 National Budget.
In a joint communique issued in Accra on Wednesday and copied to the GNA, 15 representatives of the CSOs led by Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights (ARHR) asked government to be realistic with the financial allocation to the health sector.
“Currently, analysis of the national budget over the period of seven years indicate that Ghana still falls short of the Abuja Declaration of 15 per cent of the national budget to the health sector.
“A health sector that is not fully funded will result in poor infrastructure development and poor delivery of health care,” the Communique indicated.
“We find it ethically, politically socially and economically unacceptable that inequality in health and disparities in health persist.”
According to the CSOs: “Ghana has to address the growing burden of non-communicable diseases, which leads to poor health and premature deaths due to tobacco use, abuse of alcohol, unhealthy lifestyles, physical inactivity and unhealthy diets and air pollution.”
The CSOs noted that illegal mining had destroyed water bodies and caused the spread of skin diseases and cognitive disorders among others.
They said government ought to pay attention to preventive health care instead of curative health care by strengthening the health system, which would provide timely promotive, rehabilitative service and palliative care.
The CSOs noted that the National health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), which was set to address the financial access to healthcare must be strengthened, depoliticised and run by independent board of trustees to ensure that NHIS was efficiently and effectively managed to gain public trust.
They appealed to government to pay attention to issues on climate change and its impact on health outcomes.
The CSOs recommended that government built sustainable primary health care with more emphasis on preventive health care with the aim of providing series of services as per the needs of a community.
Additionally, the CSOs appealed to government to reduce financial wastage identified by the Public Accounts Committee.
“The Human Resource of the Ghana Health Service must implement fully the National Human Resource Policy and National Health Strategy Policy of equitable distribution of health workers and ensure that, incentives due those posted are provided.”
Again, the CSOs recommended the scrapping of the nursing allowance, saying “same should be the priority of Ghana unless nurses and midwives’ trainees who received these allowances are tied to returning to hard-to-reach communities to provide health care for a specified period of time.
“Community health management committees should be reactivated to ensure that communities have a say and play a role to ensure the functional operation of CHPs compounds.