Accra, March 30, GNA
- Non-Governmental Organisations in health sector have expressed worry about
the inability of political parties to attend their event dubbed “Universal
Health Coverage with political parties on the health manifesto for election
According to the organisations, six political parties were invited for the programme to make an input on civil society health manifesto 2016 after they were served with letters, but none of the parties attended even though they confirmed their participation with the exception of the National Democratic Party (NDP) which asked permission to be absent.
The invited political parties include the National Democratic Congress, New Patriotic Party, Progressive Peoples Party, Convention Peoples Party, Peoples National Convention and the NDP.
Mr Archibald Adams, the National Campaign Coordinator for Universal Access to Healthcare Campaign, said the even though the political parties failed to attend the event, they would still visit them to find out reasons for their absence.
He said the programme was a platform to give the political parties information on the health sector from the perspective of civil society organisations (CSOs) on their manifestoes.
He said the organisations were worried because the political parties are stakeholders and as such it is incumbent to engage NGOs and the people they represented to discuss issues on health sector.
Mr Adams said the CSOs in 2014 launched a 12-page health manifesto for 2016 to educate the public on the need to demand for Universal Health Coverage.
He said Ghana and other African countries ratified the Abuja Declaration in 2001, which required the signatories to allocate at least 15 percent of national budget to the health sector.
Mr Adams said the country’s health sector budget for 2015 was 9.47 percent while 9.26 percent was allocated in 2014 national budget, which demonstrated that, the sector was falling in terms of priority for the government.
He said access to health was a Universal Human Right enshrined in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that everyone had the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and the family.
“The Universal Health Coverage is ensuring that all people can use preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services needed by the citizenry while ensuring both financial and geographical accessibility and affordability,” he said.
The goal is to ensure that all people obtain the health services they need without suffering financial hardship when paying for them.
Mr Leonard Shang-Quartey, Policy Analyst, Integrated Social Development Centre, called for serious political commitments in domestic resources to achieve the Ministry of Health’s Mid-Term Development Plan (2014-2017),Abuja target of 15 percent, the Sustainable Development Goals and the country’s 40 year Development Plan.
He said it was incumbent to build upon the experience gained from the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) and enhance national capacity for the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals since the country could not attain the MDGs 4, 5 and 6.
Mr Shang-Quartey called on government to ensure that each national budget dedicates at least 15 percent of the total to the health sector as stated in the Abuja Declaration and introduce innovative ways of funding the scheme.