The underlying health conditions of the elderly in all spheres of life got complicated by the global outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.
Appreciating that the elderly deserved maximum healthcare and reassurance, Ghana Government has activated a national program for the aged known as the ‘Free Elderly Care Policy.’
This instant healthcare policy, embedded in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was introduced on December 9, 2022, to address the many health-related challenges faced by the older population.
This means, the government is giving greater priority to covering the healthcare needs of vulnerable groups in Ghana, especially those within the age bracket of 70 and above.
With the support of the Ministry of Health, the NHIA Governing Board initiated the policy directive, following the successful launch of the digital platform dubbed, ‘MyNHIS.’In fulfilling this policy, the President of the Republic, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo approved the policy pursuant to the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Governing Board’s bidding.
The Presidential assent signaled a strong political leadership needed to deliver successfully, the nation’s UHC agenda.
The policy guarantees a waiver of the mandatory 30-day waiting period and an exemption from the premium and processing fees payment, as a member of the Scheme. The push strengthened Ghana’s goal of attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by the year 2030, riding on the NHIS.
Universal Health Coverage is built on foundations of equity and rights to quality and affordable healthcare services, regardless of people’s geographical locations.
Impact The policy is providing older persons with distinct, specialized, and complete healthcare in addition to the government’s Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) program.
This is making it crucial for addressing their healthcare-related concerns, leading to improving the life expectancy ratio of the older population in Ghana.
Source: ABDUL KARIM NAATOGMAH