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Primary Health Care Path to Universal Health Coverage -Binduri MP

HON.Dr Robert Kuganab-Lem 

Member of Parliament for Binduri, Hon Dr Robert Baba Kuganab-Lem , has charged government to revolutionized the Primary Health Care (PHC) in order to achieve the Universal Health Care (UHC) in the country by 2030.

According to him, “an effective PHC has been shown to increase efficiency by improving access to preventive and promotive services, providing early diagnosis and treatment for myriad conditions and ensuring people-centred care that focuses on the needs of the whole person and reduces avoidable hospital admissions and readmissions.”

Dr Kuganab-Lem, who is the Deputy Ranking on parliament select Committee on Health, made the call in a press statement in commemoration of World Health Day, which is celebrated on the 7th of April every year.

The theme for this year’s WHD celebration was “Universal Health Coverage (UHC) with a focus on Primary Health Care (PHC)”.

This, the Binduri lawmaker said the health and well-being of Ghanaians could be effectively, equitably and efficiently achieved if the country through government could promote PHC as a cornerstone of a sustainable health system.

Primary Health Care, he added, is the heart and soul of medicine as it served as the foundation of every health care system, pointing that, “it is the first contact and ongoing link between people and their health providers.”

The Minority MP further explained that, primary health care also indirectly achieves wider macroeconomic gains through its capacity to improve population health, stressing that, “when PHC works, people are able to get the care they needed to stay healthy” and that a vast majority of Ghanaians health needs could be met by a well-functioning primary care system.

Citing some global statistics, Dr Kuganab stated that, about one million people lacked the most basic lifesaving healthcare whilst about eleven million people get impoverished each year due to healthcare spending, adding that, “nearly a third of households in Africa have to borrow money or sell assets to pay for health care.”

Health officials at a Hospital in Ghana

While admitting that, attaining Universal Health Care is complex and resource intensive issue that requires political will and commitment from governments in order to succeed, the former Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, believed that the global goal of attaining 80% UHC by 2030, could not be achieved if primary health care is not achieved.

Primary Health Care, he stated connects individuals and families with the health care system throughout their lives, from prenatal checkups and routine immunizations to the treatment of illness and the management of chronic conditions.

In his considered view, attaining UHC implies that, “everyone who need healthcare should get them, not only those who can pay for them, the quality should be good enough to improve the health of those receiving the service.”

He therefore called on government to as a matter of necessity prioritized primary health care and commit more funds to meet the many challenges such as training and maintaining health care staff, financing, and making medicines affordable and available.

Dr Kuganab calls come to buttress many health experts arguments that, before achieving universal health coverage, however, a strong primary health care system needs to be in place as it explicitly ensures a focus on equity, accessibility and quality of care.

For instance, in 1978, the World Health Organization’s Alma-Ata declaration identified primary health care as pivotal to delivering health for all.

Decades of evidence has also shown that a health system based on strong primary care delivers better health outcomes at lower cost, and could mitigate the impact of poor economic conditions on health.

Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Nyaaba

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