Ms Lydia Seyram Alhassan, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayawaso West Wuogon has delivered her maiden statement in Parliament since her swearing-in on February 5, 2019.
However, the Minority MPs in Parliament declined to comment on the statement sticking to their decision not to recognize her as the winner of the by-election.
The statement was in commemoration of the World Health Day, a global health awareness day which is celebrated on April 7, of each year. The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Universal Health Care”.
Ms Alhassan in her statement acknowledged that Ghana has made tremendous gains at achieving Universal Health Care (UHC) since the inception of the 4th Republic.
She said introduction of the “Community Based Health Planning Services” (CHPS) in the 1990’s has ensured that basic healthcare was brought close to the citizen.
She explained that prior to the CHPS project health centres that served over 50,000 of the population were at a driving distance.
Ms Alhassan therefore called for the citing of healthcare facilities in areas within an acceptable distance.
She said Ghanaians should not be made to travel long distances to access basic healthcare services, adding that the CHPS bring healthcare to the doorstep of the people.
She stated with over 6,000 CHPS facility taking care of an average of 5,000 people in the country makes it one of the most decentralized forms of healthcare in the nation.
Ms Alhassan also stated that the challenge with Ghana’s quest to achieving universal healthcare is in the staffing of these health facilities and the machinery to enable the CHPS centres to fully function and be highly efficient as service delivery centres.
According to her the recent clearance for the employment of 53,681 health workers, majority of who are nurses would significantly contribute in addressing the staffing challenges.
She indicated that the government is working with the World Bank, the Ghana Health Service and the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to remove the financial burden for those who cannot afford the services at CHPS.
After Ms Alhassan has completed her presentation, the Speaker, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye invited the Minority in Parliament to comment on the statement.
However, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, Minority Chief Whip turned down the Speaker’s invitation to the Minority caucus to make their contribution to the statement.
“Mr. Speaker, you may pass on”, he responded.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) says they are demanding justice for their supporters who were assaulted during the January 31, 2019, Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.
The party pulled out of the polls after it said the atmosphere of violence and intimidation was unconducive.