Residents in the Builsa North District capital, Sandema, in the Upper East Region say they expect the President-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to improve the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in his next administration.
They said the NHIS was not effective in most healthcare facilities across the District, coupled with shortage of basic medicines in public health facilities, especially at the Sandema District Hospital, which served as a referral facility for the area.
According to the residents, relatives of patients mostly from the hospital were referred to private pharmaceutical shops within the Sandema Township, and in some cases Bolgatanga, the Regional capital, to buy some basic prescribed life-saving medications.
Ms Beatrice Akanvaribiam, a resident, who expressed these concerns in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Sandema, called on the President-elect to critically pay attention to the health sector, and improve the quality of the NHIS.
“The few things I would want the President-elect to address in our District here is the Health Insurance. These days when you go to the hospital, the Health Insurance does not work at all. Apart from taking your folder, you cannot get anything from the hospital. The insurance is not as effective as it used to be,” she said.
She said it was her expectation that the government would ensure that the NHIS functioned properly to benefit all Ghanaians, especially those in rural communities who rely heavily on the Scheme to access basic health care services.
On education, Ms Akanvaribiam who is a student, said it was her expectation that government would improve on the quality of the Free Senior High School (Free-SHS) policy and ensure its continuation to enable many children at the SHS level and those yet to enroll to benefit from the policy.
Mr Clifford Ayuekanbey, a teacher and resident of Sandema, said “What I really expect from this government is the termination of the double-track system. I also want them to maintain the Free-SHS because it has helped a lot of people.”
He said the Free-SHS policy was beneficial to many families, especially in the northern sector of the country, and emphasized the need for government to eliminate the double-track system.
He said the continuous practice of the double-track system, would affect the academic activities of both teachers and students, and further pose economic challenges to many parents who may have to employ the services of teachers for extra classes at home.
Mr Eric Abaatong, a Tailor at Sandema on his part, said “Once the NPP government has had the opportunity to continue in government, I expect our roads to be constructed. Our roads are not good.”
He said it was his expectation that government would extend its ‘One District, One Factory’ policy to the Builsa North District so that the people of the Builsa land would have their fair share of the national cake.
A Librarian in the District, Ms Juliana Destiny Akai also called on President Akufo-Addo to help small scale businesses in the District to grow.
“Our mothers here need help to expand their businesses. Most of our mothers are into shea-butter and soap production, and need assistance to expand them. That is what I am expecting the government to do for us,” she said.