The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has appealed to beneficiary communities not to change the concept on which the Community Health-based Planning Services (CHPS) compounds were established. The CHPS compound, according to the GHS, was set up to make quality healthcare service easily accessible to people in deprived and under-served communities.

Mr Augustine Yaw Boamah, the Deputy Director in-charge Administration of the Ashanti Regional Health Directorate of GHS, said the service was worried that CHPS compounds were being elevated to health centres. “It is wrong for local communities to put pressure on politicians and relevant institutions to turn CHPS compounds to health centres”, he said.

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Mr Boamah made the appeal when he addressed participants at a workshop on primary healthcare for journalists in Kumasi. It was jointly organised by the Alliance for Reproductive Health and Rights (ARHR) and Primary Health Coalitions, NGOs with Curious Minds as the media partner.
Participants were drawn from Brong-Ahafo, Ashanti, Upper East, Northern and Upper West Regions.

The day’s workshop was aimed at equipping the journalists with the needed requisite skills to enable them identify issues and report accurately on primary healthcare delivery. Mr Boamah observed that the implementation of the CHPS compound had been beneficial and there was the need to strengthen and sustain the concept in hard to reach areas.

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He said for journalists and media practitioners to inform and educate the general public, there was the need for them to be abreast with contemporary health issues and concepts. Mr Boamah called for effective collaboration between the media and the GHS towards promoting quality and primary healthcare delivery services in the country.

Touching on the state of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Mr Archibald Adams, Communications Officer of ARHR, called for the amendment of some provisions on the NHIS Act 2003, (Act 650). Under present arrangements, all the NHIS levy’s collected by the Ghana Revenue Authority goes into a consolidated fund, where payment to service providers of the Scheme were paid from.

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By so doing, he said funds would go directly to the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) instead of the consolidated funds. Mr Adams observed that delays in the payment of claims to health facilities were affecting quality healthcare delivery.

He expressed discomfort that only 41 percent of the citizenry were active members of the scheme and underlined the importance for the government to find alternative ways of funding the scheme.

He explained that primary healthcare was holistic that encompassed nutrition, sanitation and other key areas of the environment.
GNA