The Deputy Country Lead of BudgIT Ghana, Felix Ankrah, has called on the country’s government to allocate at least 15 percent of its national budget to the health sector in order to improve health care delivery system.

Ankrah said Ghana, like many member states of the African Union (AU), has over the years failed to fulfil the pledge to apportion at least 15 percent of its annual budget to the health sector as declared in Abuja in 2001.

He also noted that the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic presented a unique opportunity for government to examine the health care system and strengthen it to achieve universal health coverage.

Ankrah made the call at a health accountability forum held under BudgIT’s Covid-19 Transparency and Accountability in Africa (CTAP) project.

BudgIT and Connected Development (CODE) began tracking Covid-19 intervention funds in Africa in 2020 through the CTAP project.

‘If the people are healthy, it will advance the development of the country. To attain an ideal health care system, [there is a] need for the country to increase investment in that sector’, News Ghana quoted Ankrah as saying.

He also emphasised the need for transparency and accountability in the health sector, indicating that it promotes affordability and accessibility to health care for majority of citizens.

It is understood that Ghana’s health sector received only seven percent of the country’s total budget in 2022.

Data from the International Trade Administration (ITA) reveals that rural areas in Ghana often have no modern health care services and patients in these areas either rely on traditional African medicine or travel great distances for health care.

Also speaking at the forum, BudgIT Ghana’s Research and Programme Lead, Khiddir Iddris, called on the Ghanaian government to implement the Agenda 111 policy, which seeks to construct 111 ultra-modern health facilities across the country.

‘The private sector on its part could partner government in building health facilities, thereby creating jobs, instituting affordable private health insurance scheme among others’, Iddris said.

Ghanaian residents in Cape Coast also appealed to the government for a livelihood support against the sufferings caused by the pandemic.

Photo source: NCDC

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