THE Provost of the College of Art and Social Sciences of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Prof. Dr Dr Daniel Buor, has called for aggressive measures to remove the bottlenecks bedevilling the operations of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
He said even though health insurance was a mechanism to address health problems and improve upon utilisation of health services, corruption and other vices must be eliminated to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.
According to him, the mismanagement of the health fund, inadequate resourcing and corruption, especially in the administration of drugs, were areas that needed serious attention if the NHIS was to get a sound footing.
Prof. Dr Dr Buor made the call at a professorial inaugural lecture in Kumasi on the topic: “Analysing the socio-spatial inequities in the access of health services in sub-Saharan Africa: Interrogating geographical imbalances in the uptake of health care.”
The lecture focused on the professor’s research findings and others that were compatible with the topic, with Ghana as the main focus.
Prof. Dr Dr Buor stressed the need for regular auditing of the administration of drugs under the NHIS if sanity was to be restored to the scheme.
The professor described the proportion of the national budget (1.7 per cent) allocated to the health sector as woefully inadequate.
“Whereas health care is a right, a social responsibility of the state, inadequate resources makes it pretty difficult for governments to ensure access of their citizens to health care,” he said.
Prof. Dr Dr Buor stated that the poorly co-ordinated health systems in some sub-Saharan Africa countries imposed a burden on efficient health service delivery.
“There is concentration of logistics and authority at the national capitals. Financial autonomy is denied the sub-structures that have to draw their financial needs directly from the national capital,” he said.
Prof. Dr Dr Buor stated that for the country to develop, its population must be healthy, and to be healthy calls for efficient and effective use of health facilities.
He also touched on the rural-urban imbalance in the use of health services and said that should engage the attention of the government.
The provost recommended the introduction of integrated health studies as an optional course for non-social science programmes in the universities.
“The efficacy of geography, and, specifically, medical geography, in contributing to the realisation of national development agenda of nations cannot be overemphasised,” he stressed.