Adopt “innovative and pragmatic” ways to deal with “healthcare financing” - GMA

| Updated Jul 29, 2018 at 5:48am


Dr. Frank Ankobea, GMA President


CEO of NHIA, Dr. Samuel Annor
Deputy Upper West Regional Minister Amidu Chinnia Issahaku
Senoir Lecturer of the School of Medical Sciences of the University for Development studies, Dr. Sam Bugri
The President of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr. Frank Ankobea has stressed the necessity for interested parties to adopt “innovative and pragmatic” ways to deal with “healthcare financing” in the country.

He said: “The challenges facing the National Health Insurance Scheme in recent times is clear for everyone to see and as such one does not need a prophet to reveal same to him or her.”

Dr. Ankobea and made the observations at the 60th Anniversary Public Lecture of the GMA at Jirapa in the Upper West Region.

GBC’s Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo reports that Dr. Frank Ankobea noted that the kind of health financing in Ghana “is a social intervention and should not be seen as geared towards profit making.”

The President of the GMA hammered home the need for us to find a way to salvage what he called “this sinking ship of our healthcare finances.”

He said government is doing so much to help surmount the challenges of healthcare in respect of finances but it is equally important for us the address the leakages in the system.

Dr. Ankobea emphasized that “it is of no use for us to continue fetching water into an already leaking basket.”

“Let us deal with deal with the issues of healthcare financing so that we can procure the drugs and the necessary logistics, so that we can expand our infrastructure, so that we can deal with our emergency healthcare and for once banish the ghost of ‘no bed syndrome’ from our health facilities”, Dr. Ankobea stated.

Touching on the mechanisms of paying service providers, the CEO of NHIA, Dr. Samuel Annor stated that out of the three forms of payments, which are fee for service, the Ghana diagnostic related groupings and capitation, capitation is the cheapest way of buying health.

A Senoir Lecturer of the School of Medical Sciences of the University for Development studies, Dr. Sam Bugri who delivered the keynote address, commented on the distribution of doctors in urban centers in relation to small communities.

He pointed out that in Northern Region, there are about 150 Ghana Health Service Doctors in the Region and out of the number, 120 are in Tamale alone, saying the situation brings into question whether the people the region are getting value for their money.

Dr. Bugri recalled that, at independence, we had only three hospitals and four health centers in the Northern Region but today we can boast of 40 hospitals and polyclinics and over 460 health centers and clinics.

The Upper West Regional Minister, Alhaji Sulemana Alhassan in an address read for him, by his deputy, Amidu Chinnia Issahaku, observed that the region lags behind when it comes to the services of doctors because “most medical doctors refuse to accept postings to the region.”

He announced that there are only 58 doctors in the region and appealed to the GMA to assist Upper West to get more medical doctors by encouraging members to accept postings to the area.

Alhaji Alhassan told the session that the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) will work with the Regional Health Directorate to provide the necessary impetus within the RCC’s means “to facilitate opportunities that encourage doctors who will accept postings to” Upper West.

The Medical Director of the Jirapa Hospital, Dr. Richard Wodah-Seme spoke about “deplorable state of medical doctors” in deprived areas of the country and charged the GMA to come out with workable means of attracting and retaining medical personnel at difficult to serve areas.

Dr. Wodah-Seme thanked the local organizing committee for the Lecture for a job well executed.

The Anniversary Public Lecture was anchored on the theme: “Health care Financing in Ghana: 60 Years On”

Report by Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo