The key to sustainable health financing in Ghana is co-creating solutions using a multi-sectoral approach.

Mrs Beauty


As stated in the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, especially Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, health financing has been identified as the key to enabling progress toward the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC).

In comparison to Sub-Saharan African and lower-middle income countries, Ghana spends less overall on health care. However, compared to out-of-pocket sources, it has a relatively higher proportion of health spending from public sources.

Between 2015 and 2019, the amount of money that was spent on health-related external assistance fell dramatically, from 25% to 11% of the total amount spent. When compared to other lower-middle income countries, this figure is higher on average, and it is worrying that there aren't enough significant policy changes to help countries make the transition from donor-supported donor interventions to domestic public funding.

The Ministry of Health has created a National Health Financing Strategy to assist in addressing funding shortages, increasing investment, and improving health outcomes.

This was made possible thanks to funding from the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (UNMPTF), under the technical direction of the World Health Organization (WHO).

However, the collaboration between Ghana and WHO on this new financial strategy for Ghana has been in the works for a while. One of the main recommendations of the 2019 Ghana Health Financing Forum was the development of the strategy.

Although Ghana has made significant progress toward achieving the UHC, Mr. Kwakye Kontor, Head of the Planning and Budget Unit at the Ministry of Health and the project coordinator for the review of the Health Financing Strategy, stated that "financing our health ambitions cannot be realized without an effective strategy in place. ".

According to Susan Sparkes, a WHO Technical Officer on the WHO headquarters' health financing team, "The strategy development process has been two years of co-creation by partners.". "The procedure shows how quick the WHO is to react to government needs. ".

The Technical Working Group on Health Financing, which consists of representatives from significant stakeholder institutions, has been activated with the goal of creating a comprehensive strategy that can be owned by all stakeholders. The group's goal is to jointly develop the strategy to meet the current and future financing requirements of the health sector.

"The strategy's development processes are just as crucial as the finished product itself. The results of the participation of important stakeholders in this protracted process have shown what we can accomplish if we strengthen collaboration on health financing, according to Mr. Kingsley Addai Frimpong, health economist at the WHO Ghana's Universal Health Coverage and Life Course Cluster.

Dr. Francis Asenso-Boadi, the National Health Insurance Authority's (NHIA) Director for Research, Policy, Monitoring, and Evaluation, made a valid point when he said that the strategy-development process had benefited from the knowledge of various stakeholders who were active participants in Ghana's health financing system.

According to Mr. Asenso-Boadi, "the great thing about this strategy is that it incorporates the expert inputs of all key stakeholders, and we are confident that this strategy will transform health financing at all levels of care.".

Ghana has made strides toward UHC over the past 30 years by demonstrating a strong political, legislative, and financial commitment to health system reform. The UHC Roadmap and the Health Sector Medium-Term Development Plan (HSMTDP) 2022–2025 are included in this. Therefore, it is anticipated that the health financing strategy will support ongoing efforts in Ghana to achieve UHC.

The timing of this strategy couldn't be better given the health sector's financial needs. I am confident that if we involve all significant stakeholders in the process of developing the strategy, we will have the discipline required for its successful implementation. ", stated Gladys Osabutey, the head of the Ministry of Finance's UN Systems Unit.

Ghana's health sector development partners are aware of the importance of the strategy and its inclusive development process. According to Dr. Elisha Kipkemoi Ngetich, a health specialist at the World Bank, "the diversity of voices that is reflected in the strategy development process is an indication of the commitment of all stakeholders to seeing a well-financed health sector that makes healthcare available and affordable to the population.".

The UHC Roadmap and the Health Sector Medium-Term Development Plan 2022–2025 provide the framework for the 2022 Ghana Health Financing Strategy (HFS), which builds on those foundational elements.

In order to find answers to pressing, difficult-to-solve problems with health financing, the HFS looks deeply into them. Additionally, it creates specific plans for the functions of revenue collection, pooling, and procurement in health financing.

This two-pronged strategy of addressing important, long-standing issues and strengthening the three health financing functions fosters dynamic, sequential interaction and synergies between targeted activities and comprehensive strengthening, avoids duplicating the UHC Roadmap, and ensures sufficient depth of strategies and plans to make progress in addressing the ongoing health financing and service delivery challenges in Ghana.

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