Ghana: Roadmap for Attainment of UBC to Be Ready Soon - Deputy Health Minister

Government is in the process of finalising a roadmap on healthcare delivery in the country, Deputy Minister of Health, Alexander Abban, has announced.

The roadmap, according to him, would provide the policy direction and broad strategies for action towards the country's quest in attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

"It might interest you to note that the ministry has revised the National Health Policy as well as in the process of finalising a UHC roadmap," he explained.

Mr Abban disclosed this when he addressed the opening ceremony of a two-day "Health Dialogue" in Accra yesterday.

The dialogue is being organised by General Electric (GE) Healthcare, a subsidiary of General Electric and is on the theme: "Elevating healthcare through collaborations".

Among the topics being discussed are Structuring Innovative Healthcare Financing Solutions; Ghana's vision for UHC, the Future of Radiology with Artificial Intelligence and Healthcare Technology Innovations.

Participating in the event are the public and private sectors' industry stakeholders including policy makers, healthcare professionals, decision makers, academia, investors and financing institutions.

The Deputy Minister said the documents would provide the policy direction and broad strategies for action towards achieving UHC based on key determinants of health within a functional nationally integrated collaboration framework.

He said in the light of this, the ministry welcomed partnership and collaborations of all forms from individuals and organisations to operationalise the new vision for health.

"It is in this vain that I laud the several initiatives by General Electric within the health landscape of Ghana particularly the provision of 500 portable ultrasound units and the training of 600 midwives across Ghana to conduct life-saving scans," he said.

Mr Abban said government was actively improving the health policy environment to ensure that the individual and indeed the population had UHC.

"The Community-Based Planning and Health Services (CHPS) policy outlines the close to client strategies to ensure access to health services at the community level," he said.

In addition, he noted that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was being revised to provide financial risk protection to individuals.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GE Africa, Farid Fezoua, expressed his happiness towards the dialogue which was the first of its kind in Ghana.

He said as a partner in global health care development, GE Health care was working together with governments, private sector and non-governmental organisations to develop public private partnerships (PPP) to scale up affordable and relevant outcome-based solutions.

Mr Fezoua said the number of PPP in this direction included; developing new delivery models that aim to improve access, clinical quality and patient outcomes, developing capital solutions that aim to ensure project viability and long-term sustainability for health systems transformation, advancing education, skills development and awareness of healthcare professionals to promote local capacity building and providing technologies and innovations with clinically and economically relevant value propositions designed at affordable cost structures.

On his part, the Manager, GE Healthcare in-charge of West Africa and Sub-sahara, Eyon Ebai, said his outfit in collaboration with the Ministry of Health was implementing the Vscan Access Task Shifty programme across 125 districts in the country.

He said it was to train and equip healthcare professionals at the primary healthcare level with portable ultrasound and as a result 1.5 million expectant Ghanaian women were expected to benefit from the initiative by 2020.

Mr Ebai explained that this had been made possible by its commitment to timely long services maintenance through investment in localised logistics and spare parts inventory and local WCA service centres which provided job opportunities for over 15 field service engineers and over 20 business support personnel.

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