The New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have expressed divergent positions on what they would do to ensure universal health coverage as well as increase budgetary allocation to the health sector if voted to power.
While the NPP touted revamping the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and making it more efficient through digitisation, the NDC believed its free primary health care for all proposal, was the panacea to ensuring universal health care for all in the country.
They expressed their positions at a forum dubbed: “Zonal Engagement Session with Stakeholders on Health Specific Commitments of Political Party Manifestos”, held in Tamale on Thursday.
The day’s event organised by SEND-GHANA, a civil society organisation, in collaboration with 123FM Constituency Connect programme with funding support from African Population and Health Research Centre, was to have a good appreciation of the health sector manifesto proposals of the two political parties.
Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare, Presidential Advisor on Health, who represented the NPP during the event, said the government was working to make the NHIS more efficient while promoting preventive health and minimising fraud in health insurance claims to ensure more resources to fund the health sector.
Dr Asare said the government was already doing all what the NDC promised in its People’s Manifesto adding that there was no need to change the government at the polls in December.
He gave the assurance that the government would continue to prioritise the health sector and build hospitals in all districts that lacked one and regional hospitals in the new regions and equip them with full complement of health staff to provide quality health care to the people.
Dr Koma Jehu-Appiah, Spokesperson on Health, NDC Manifesto said if the NDC was voted into power in December, it would use resources from the country’s natural endowment sector, cut down on wastes and reduce the number of political appointees to free resources to fund the health sector.
Dr Jehu-Appiah said the NDC had done it before in the area of building magnificent health infrastructure across the country, adding if given the nod, it would do more to eliminate barriers to accessing health care in the country.
Mr Mumuni Mohammed, Regional Programme Manager for SEND-GHANA said political manifestos had become documents for governing the country, and urged political parties to commit to their promises to meet the aspirations of the people.