Deputy Minister for Transport, Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus Glover, has expressed surprise at John Mahama’s plan to implement a Free Primary Health Care Plan if voted to power in 2021.
According to Mr Glover, the said policy is already being implemented by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) via the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) through what he says is the ‘gatekeepers system.’
“The free primary health care plan is already being implemented by the the NHIS through what is called the ‘gatekeepers’ system where people with low income, the aged and children are covered by the GHS,” he stated.
“I don’t understand; it’s already in the system, it’s 99 per cent cost absorbed by GHS and I think they must advertise it so Ghanaians know about it,” he stated further.
An advisor to President Akufo-Addo on Health, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, has also made a similar assertion that the ‘new policy’ promised by Mr Mahama was already in existence.
However, a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylverster Mensah, has debunked the assertions by the Dr Nsiah-Asare, noting that there was a clear difference between a Free Primary Health Care and a premium paying Health Insurance Scheme.
“Technically, in theory, and in practice, a premium paying Health Insurance scheme is significantly different from a Free Health Care Policy or Plan. Usually, Free Primary Health Care has very limited or no preconditions for accessing healthcare. To say that Ghanaians are already enjoying Free PHC when annual premium payment is required as a condition for accessing health care is dishonest,” Mr Mensah is on record to have stated.
Mr Mahama at the inauguration of his running mate, Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, said should the NDC be voted to power again, it will implement the Free Primary Health Care Policy.
“Ladies and gentlemen, as a social democratic party, we seek to harness the best qualities in all our people to transform the destiny of our nation”.
“In that direction, and as the fulcrum around which our health policy will evolve, we will,,,,,,,,,,, before the end of 2021, introduce and begin the implementation of a Free Primary Healthcare Plan”, he announced.
He explained: “This will make the provision of primary healthcare to all Ghanaians, young and elderly, free”.
“Our free healthcare plan will guarantee a healthy people and provide the healthy workforce needed to accelerate our development”, he added.