Dr Sebastian Ngmenenso Sandaare, Member of Parliament for Daffiama/Bussie/Issa has expressed concern that the 2019 Budget delivered to parliament by Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, Thursday November 15, failed to address the underlying determinant of access to healthcare which posed the most serious health threats in the country.
Explaining what he perceived as challenges with the budget for the health sector, the Minority MP said the Finance Minister did not outline any new initiatives to deal with the funding gap and other related challenges facing the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
“Challenges with health access and financing have persisted for years, so I was therefore, expecting to hear some of the measures being put in place to address them but nothing was said about it,” he said.
The Minister for Finance in the budget statement assured that government would cleared all areas owing to services providers and make the health scheme very effective.
But reacting to the Budget Statement, Dr Sandaare said 2019 Budget has failed to address the looming health and social care crisis in the country, stressing that, it was about time politicians from all parties come together to address the problems urgently.
He noted that, access to primary health care remained a problem to both citizens and health personnel and that it was his expectation that, the Minister outline programmes and projects government is doing to ameliorate such crisis.
Dr Sandaare who is a member on the Health Committee of parliament pointed that, the budget failed to offer any significant encouragement or remedy to the beleaguered health service, stressing, ” a little meaningful financial assistance for the NHIS, ” which is stretched to breaking point would be good for the nation.
The MP who is also a medical doctor added that, “our health service is one of the best health services on the continent, but is, increasingly, failing too many people for too much of the time.
“The NHIS which is pro-poor social care is at breaking point and have been failed by partisan politics for too long. We have this no bed syndrome and it was my expectation to hear from the Finance Minister, what plans government have to reduce if not end this no bed, no bed, ” he stated.
“So without much, I think we need politicians from all sides to come together to agree a long-term solution to the challenges facing health and social care,” Dr Sandaare added.
He said the NHIS was ‘central to the values’ of the rural Ghanaians and that it was vital that ‘everyone has access to our health care through the NHIS when they need it’. emphasizing that every Ghanaian deserve to enjoy security and dignity in old age.’
This, he reiterated that the budget does nothing to address the gaping hole in NHIS finances and for doctors to look after patients well, social care needs to be well-funded and adequately staffed.
‘The crisis in the NHIS doesn’t stop at the hospital door, our emergency departments are struggling because of an overstretched system, he added.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Nyaaba