…urges policymakers to use research data in formulating policies to achieve UHC
Kweku Agyeman Manu, Minister of Health, has said government remains committed to ensuring Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for 80 percent of the country’s population by the year 2030.
According to him, government has developed a comprehensive UHC roadmap toward making the goal a possibility.
He therefore charged policymakers and healthcare providers to utilise research data to formulate and implement effective healthcare policies which help fast-track the country’s attainment of the UHC.
The Health Minister was speaking at a symposium organised by PharmAcess Foundation, aimed at helping bridge the gap between health research and policy formulation for healthcare.
It was on the theme ‘Facing the facts for UHC, Can Research Drive Policy from Innovation in health financing and Delivery in Ghana?’
It explored ways of leveraging technology to improve health care delivery across Africa.
Dr. Gifty Sunkwa-Mills, Operations Manager of PharmAccess Foundation, explained that the symposium’s objective is to ensure research policies are implemented to the letter and benefit the average person in Ghana.
“PharmAccess Foundation believes that implementing the findings of research into health delivery, quality healthcare and access would go a long way to fast-track the attainment of UHC across the African continent,” she added.
She explained that PharmAccess focuses on the root-causes that hamper healthcare financing and investment toward equitable and quality healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa.
According to her, through public-private partnerships, PharmAccess focuses on: promoting basic health insurance plans and other innovative demand-side financing options to protect people from financial hardship; introducing quality standards and improvement methodologies for health care providers to increase transparency and stimulate efficiencies; facilitating and stimulating loans, business support and investments for private health care providers; and innovating value-based health care solutions and financing, using data to empower health care consumers, patients, doctors and financiers alike.
Dr. Okoe Boye, Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), mentioned that 95 percent of diseases in the country are covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
He is hopeful that the symposium’s outcome will help the NHIA in formulating effective policies to expand its current coverage rate, from 50 percent to 70 percent of the population.
Speaking via video-conferencing, Director of Research at PharmAccess Foundation and a Professor of Global Health at the University of Amsterdam, Prof. Tobias Rinke de Wit said PharmAccess Foundation is earnestly enhancing the capacities of young researchers across Africa to help generate useful data in developing effective policies to accelerate the attainment of UHC.
In attendance were officials from the Ministry of Health, National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Norwegian and Netherlands Embassies, and pharmaceutical companies among others.