The Ghanaian government proposed here Friday the introduction of a COVID-19 health levy to support the efficient performance of the health sector during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Acting Minister for Finance Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu said.

The minister made the remarks while presenting the government’s 2021 budget statement to parliament, adding that the proposal would result in a slight increase in some existing tax policies.

“We propose a one percentage point increase in the national health insurance levy and a one percentage point increase in the Value Added Tax flat-rate to support expenditure related to COVID-19,” the minister said.

If approved, Mensah-Bonsu said, the levy would help mobilize additional revenue to employ more health workers at the country’s health facilities, build new health facilities, and finance the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines across the country.

He said the levy would also support the establishment of 14 medical waste treatment facilities across the country for the safe disposal of medical waste in collaboration with the private sector.

At least 262,335 Ghanaians received their first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines as of Wednesday as part of the first batch of COVID-19 vaccinations in Ghana, and an additional 17.6 million vaccine doses are expected to be delivered by June, with more to come in the course of the year, Mensah-Bonsu said. Enditem

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