Yileh Chireh calls for more taxes to save Ghana’s health sector

The Chairman of the Health Committee of Parliament is proposing the introduction of more taxes to save the health sector from total collapse.

Joseph Yileh Chireh believes the taxes will fill a gaping funding hole to be left when the Danish government finally withdraws its financial support to Ghana.

The Danish government yesterday announced an end to its donor support to Ghana after almost 22 years.

The decision comes at a time when the health ministry has seen a drastic cut in its 2016 budget.

The Coalition of NGOs in Health has warned that the ministry’s immunization programmes as well as HIV and Tuberculosis fight which are being financed by DANIDA could be hampered.

In an interview on Multi TV Pulse programme, Yileh Chireh said the country must explore other funding alternatives.

“As far as the committee is concerned we have been arguing for additional taxes but those taxes must be specifically for the health care of Ghanaians,” he said.

Yileh Chireh suggested the mining and timber companies as targets for those taxes.

He said the taxes will not be forced down the throats of Ghanaians but the issue will be debated thoroughly in Parliament before it will be considered and hopefully approved.

The Chair of the Health Committee of Parliament Yileh Chireh also proposed the widening of the tax net to rope in several other people who hitherto were not paying taxes in the past.

Meanwhile, Parliament is expected to summon Health Minister Alex Segbefia to the floor to explain how the sector will handle the departure of the Danish government.

Prior to his appearance before Parliament, the Minister admitted there are challenges but those are not beyond the government.

“As a country we have to educate our people about the situation and also begin to plan our budget and our economies to realise that our responsibilities are now greater and we must also learn to deal with wastage.

“…But Ghana is on a good footing. It is clear there are challenges but these challenges are necessary at these stage,” he said.

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