The African Cultural Institute and the Pan-African Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery (PAScATS) have held the 15th Webinar series on Covid-19 on the topic, “The Legacy of Covid-19 on Universal Health Coverage in Ghana & Beyond”.
The virtual meeting was held in collaboration with German Heart Centre Berlin, the World Health Summit (WHS) and patronized by Dr. Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, Emmanuel Macron, French President, Dr. Ursula von de Leyen, President, EU and Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO.
The webinar was highlighted by a keynote address on the exemplary response of the Ghanaian government to combat Covid-19 by Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Presidential advisor on health and former Director-General, Ghana Health Service, (GHS) who was a co-chair of the webinar.
It was followed by the Director of Budget Division of the Ministry of Finance, Evelyn Arthur who enlightened the audience on the role of Consolidated Fund as an umbilicus of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the implementation of universal health care in Ghana.
Mrs. Afra Gyekye and Mrs. Sharon Oboshie Doku both attorneys at law and corporate finance experts in Hamburg and Frankfurt, respectively moderated the panel discussion where the panellists including Prof. Charles Yankah, Chair, Mrs. Evelyn Arthur, Director, Budget Division, Ministry of Finance, Ghana, Mr. Kwame Adu-Darkwa, Deputy CEO, Ghana Exim Bank underscored the need for generating more taxes into the national consolidated fund to strengthen the healthcare system thus enabling the NHIS to become robust and resilient.
Professor Yankah stressed at the webinar the need to focus on the economic and social benefit of universal health care for children and the young generation as key for achieving sustainable development and workforce.
“We are taking the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity to have dialogue with business communities for collaboration and use this as a catalyst to spur new health economics and job creation. The immediate response is to encourage the diaspora to continue their remittances to sponsor hybrid health insurance of their relatives,” he said.
He indicated that the legacy of Covid-19 has set up a compass for strengthening healthcare service in the context of “new out of hospital care” which emerged as highly significant public health system during the Covid-19 pandemic, telehealth programs, and change of behavior by observing the benchmarks for Covid-19 prevention in the absence of vaccines.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri