Alhaji Hafiz Adam, Chief Director of the Ministry of Health (MoH), has expressed support for the earmarking of a percentage of the tax collections on health harming products such as alcohol, tobacco and sugar-sweetened beverages to the health sector.

He said this would greatly help the sector to support people with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) who could not afford the huge cost of treatment.

He commended the Vision for Alternative Development Ghana and other CSOs for their consistency in the roles they played in the passage of the Excise Duty Amendment Act, 2023 (1093).

‘Your numerous advocacy roles in 2023, notable among them is your consistent advocacy role that led to the passing of the Excise Duty Amendment Act, 2023 (Act 1093) which imposes a 20 per cent tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in Ghana.

‘This is a great milestone that will help us in our fight against NCDs in Ghana.’

Alhaji Adam expressed the support in his address at the 2024 Health Summit in Accra.

‘I must say that the work is not y
et done and that we will need you to advocate for the allocation of a percentage of the tax collectibles to the health sector to support our combat against NCDs which have become a menace to public health,’ he stated.

He said Universal Health Coverage (UHC) was a priority of health systems worldwide and central to Sustainable Development Goal ‘3’ (target 3,8).

‘Critical to the achievement of UHC is quality of care. However, a joint report by the Organisation for facilities or practice, or providers who lack adequate training and expertise Economic Co-operation and Development, the WHO, and the World Bank has suggested that poor quality health services are holding back progress on improving health in countries at all income levels.

‘Today, inaccurate diagnosis, medication errors, inappropriate treatment, inadequate or unsafe clinical prevail in all countries,’ the Chief Director stated.

He said according to the WHO Fact Sheet on Quality of Care, between 5.7 and 8.4 million deaths are attributed to poor qua
lity care each year in Low-and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs), which represents up to 15 per cent of overall deaths in these countries.

‘Moreover, inadequate quality of care imposes costs of US$ 1.4-1.6 trillion each year in lost productivity in LMICs.

‘In our Ghanaian context, the end-term evaluation of the implementation of the National Healthcare Quality Strategy (NHQS, 2017 – 2021) has observed that weaknesses exist in all the components of the health systems building blocks which posed significant barriers to the successful implementation of the strategy and the achievement of its desired overarching goal.

‘This therefore suggests that it cannot be business as usual, and the time to act is now,’ Alhaji Adam stated.

He expressed happiness that this year’s Health Summit was focused on how to improve the quality of care across the Ghanaian health system for better health outcomes for all.

He said the theme for this year’s summit was ‘Quality Healthcare Delivery; A Catalyst for Achieving Universal Heal
th Coverage in Ghana.’

He said the theme was carefully thought out and it recognised the need to continuously enhance the quality of the care delivered to people of Ghana ‘if we are to stand a chance of achieving our national UHC targets by 2030.’

Source: Ghana News Agency