Mr Isaac Nyampong, Programme Manager, Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights, says there is the need to begin to innovatively generate resources internally as a country to support the heath sector.
He noted that gradually, funding in the health sector was dwindling and as such there was the need to begin to innovate to mobilise resources regularly to support the sector.
“We do not think that compensations to the health sector will go down, so we need to mobilise resources locally, and be more efficient in how we use the little resources that we have, because per analysis, there is a lot of wastage in the system and if we are able to block those leakages, then we can make more resources to finance the health sector.”
Mr Nyampong made this observation at the media forum on Primary Health Care (PHC) and Health Systems improvement advocacy, on Tuesday, in Accra.
The forum was to provide media practitioners with an in-depth briefing on the current state of PHC delivery in Ghana; a seven-year trend analysis of the health sector component of the national budget from 2016-2022; a holistic assessment of the health sector and most importantly, exchange ideas on the strategic roles that media partners could play towards the improvement of PHC delivery in Ghana.
He said generally, the health sector and for that matter the Ministry of Health (MoH) was doing well but there was more room for improvement.
“In terms of human resources for health, the MoH has done well, so currently we have exceeded our ratio in terms of nurses to population ratio, and we are doing well also in terms of midwives to population ratio.”
Mr Nyampong, however, noted that the issue had to do with equity in the distribution of health staff in rural communities and that some facilities had midwives and nurses while others did not.
Per the policy, every CHPS compound is expected to have a nurse and midwife.
“We have also realised from the holistic assessment that Greater Accra has the best ratio in terms of doctor to population ratio, however in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions the situation is worse. For instance, in 2021, Accra had 220 doctors out of the new doctors posted, while upper East and West had less than 10.”
He called on the government to ensure equitably distribution of the cadre of staff, especially midwives and doctors, adding that the issue of compensations and the need for more health staff in facilities must be looked at holistically.
The Programme Manager said increased investments to improve facilities and services at CHPS compounds, health centres and district hospitals as well as removal of financial and other barriers to access to health must propel increased advocacy for PHC.
He urged the media to continuously increase its reportage on issues affecting health care delivery and contribute to the collective objective of improving health care services for all Ghanaians.