Health Ministry dismisses prospects of a health fund

The Ministry of Health has reacted to suggestion by District Health Directors for a Health Fund, saying such a scheme will not be prudent.

The health directorates argue the state of healthcare delivery could improve with readily available funds, to ensure universal health coverage.

Managers say they are struggling to carry out their mandate to continue to improve health care at the district level due to inadequate funds.

They lament lack of funds from government has been compounded by a directive for health institutions to pay for utilities from internal sources.

In some instances, officers have had to pay for water and electricity from their own pockets to ensure uninterrupted supply.

“Majority of us even though don’t enjoy our conditions of service are compelled to use our own funds to support activities to keep the health system running”, said Dr. Osei Kuffuor Afreh, National Chairman of the District Directors of Health Services.

He has therefore justified the need for special funding for healthcare.

“We would like to appeal to the Minister of Health and our own Director-General of the Ghana Health Service to set up a health fund similar to the donor pooled fund to address continuous supply of funds to the district to carry out planned activities,” Dr. Afreh requested.

He made the appeal in Kumasi at the 23rd Annual Conference of the District Directors of Health Services Group Ghana.

Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, Sylvester Anemana, however, says government cannot maintain such a fund.

“If we create the health fund, government would have to put money in it but this same government is already not giving us any good budget so it is not prudent,” he explained.

The Ministry has been implored to also reconsider a policy that would ensure supply of free utilities such as electricity and water.

Meanwhile, Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira, has acknowledged the difficult situation under which these directors work.

He applauded the efforts of the district heads and encouraged them to continue.

“We are in difficult times but you have showed leadership and the important thing is that the system hasn’t collapsed,” he said.


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