Increase Health Budget – Nurses Beg Gov’t

Some dignitaries and participants in a group photograph.

THE GHANA Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) has urged Government to increase budget allocation for the health sector and strive to attain the Alma Ata declaration in 1978 where countries, including Ghana, pledged to commit fifteen per cent of their annual budget to health.

The Association also pleaded for the disease coverage of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to be expanded and well managed for the benefit of all Ghanaians.

UHC Agenda

Delivering the keynote address at the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Nurses 2nd Congress and 6th Scientific Session held at the GRNMA Hostel in Korle Bu, Accra, on Wednesday, October 30, General Secretary of GRNMA, Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo noted that Nursing and Midwifery can advance the agenda of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) if there was an educated, competent and well motivated nursing and midwifery workforce within effective and responsive health systems at all levels and in different settings.

She said: “Policy makers must understand that UHC is a political choice. We must strive for equity and justice in health which requires careful policy dialogue tailored to Ghana’s needs and capacity”.

Role of ENT Nurses

Speaking on the theme: ‘Towards Universal Health Coverage: The Role of the Specialized ENT Nurses’,
Mrs. Ofori-Ampofo stressed on the importance of ENT nurses and the services they provide, indicating that their role within the health sector can contribute to the attainment of the UHC.

She averred that if Ghana would attain Universal Health Coverage by 2030, then stakeholders must take a relook at the training of ENT specialized nurses by first of all, improving the infrastructure of the only existing ENT training school located in Kumasi to enable more nurses to be admitted to pursue ENT nursing programmes; and also look at establishing one or two other training centers to train this cadre of specialists.

Health for All

Explaining the concept of the UHC, the GRNMA General Secretary said, the UHC embodies three related objectives which are equity in access to health services, where health services should be made accessible to all and not only to persons who can pay for them; high quality of health service to improve upon the health of its recipients and protection against financial risk where persons who receive health services do not end up suffering financial hardship.
“What this simply means is that, no matter who you are, no matter where you live and no matter how much money you have, you should be able to access quality health services and more so, ENT services without suffering financial hardship”, she stressed.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu iterated Government’s commitment to the attainment on the UHC, saying, the Ministry places premium on the UHC as a vehicle to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Upgrade of Programmes

He disclosed that to ensure that nurses attain the highest level of professional and academic training, Government has upgraded all the Post Basic Programmes which hitherto were Advanced Diploma awarding institutions to Degree awarding from the University of Cape Coast.

There has also been the introduction of the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives (GCNM) to train nurse specialists in all the specialty areas in the profession.

The Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Nurses group is an affiliate specialized group of the GRNMA.

By Nii Adjei Mensahfio