government is seriously exploring the possibility of introducing health insurance schemes appropriate to the conditions of the country.
Thus far, the Rawlings government's commitment to the policy of involving traditional healers in the National Health Care Delivery System remains at the rhetorical stage. Several problems continue to plague the successful implementation of the primary health care strategy, which is yet to be implemented in several districts in the country.
Health care facilities in Ghana have increased considerably over the years. The major problem is that their distribution in the country has been grossly unequal. Inter-regional, intra-regional and rural-urban disparities continue to exist, owing essentially to the fact that the limited resources for them are frequently located on the basis of political and economic expediency rather than on careful analysis of the relative needs of the different sections of the country. Until recently, the Western-oriented health care model established by the colonialists had informed the policies and strategies of health authorities in post-independence Ghana.
The government should pay much attention to traditional medical services in the country. Efforts should be made to organise the local medical practitioners to contribute to the current programme of health for all by the year 2000. Avenues need to be explored as to how best traditional medical practitioners can be integrated into the national health care delivery system. The Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine should be given adequate funding for continued research into local herbs and possible manufacture of local drugs.
Structural changes in the health care system are beginning to emerge from the current health policies being adopted by the Rawlings government. Efforts should be made to mobilise communities to contribute their quota to general health improvement in the country instead of relying solely on the government for the provision of medical services, healthy environments, better housing and a higher standard of living. Health education, family planning and primary health care programmes should be given sustained priority by the government.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Health Care Patterns and Planning in Developing Countries. Contributors: Rais Akhtar - Editor. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1991. Page number: 240.